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Speaking ahead of the Prime Minister’s announcement later today (Monday) on the next stage of unlocking, TUC Deputy General Secretary Paul Nowak said:

“We all want the economy to unlock as soon as possible.

“But it is vital that people returning to work have confidence their workplaces are as Covid-secure as possible.

“It is not acceptable for the government to outsource its health and safety responsibilities to individuals and to employers.

“Personal responsibility will have a role to play, but ministers cannot wash their hands of keeping people safe at work.

“With cases rising the government must send out a clear message to employers to play by the rules or face serious action.

“That means publishing clear guidance based on the most up-to-date science and consultations with unions and employers.”


Editors note

TUC polling published last month revealed that many employers have still not taken the necessary action to ensure that workplaces are Covid-secure:

  • Nearly half of workers (46 percent) say their employer has not taken technical measures to improve airflow at their workplaces
  • 1 in 6 staff surveyed (17 per cent) say they have not been given Personal Protective Equipment (PPE).
  • 3 in 10 staff (29 per cent) said they were not consulted by their employer on a Covid-secure risk assessment 
  • 1 in 10 (11 per cent) say that social distancing still isn’t enabled in their workplace

To date not one single employer has been fined and prosecuted for Covid health and safety breaches during the pandemic.

- Polling on health and safety: BritainThinks conducted an online survey of 2,134 workers in England and Wales between May 13 and May 21 2021. All respondents were either in work, on furlough, or recently made redundant. Survey data has been weighted to be representative of the working population in England and Wales by age, gender, socioeconomic grade, working hours and security of work in line with ONS Labour Force survey data.    

- The Trades Union Congress (TUC) exists to make the working world a better place for everyone. We bring together the 5.5 million working people who make up our 48 member unions. We support unions to grow and thrive, and we stand up for everyone who works for a living.

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