Wales TUC’s General Secretary Shavanah Taj said:
“Slowing the spread of Omicron is vital, and we support the steps the Welsh Government is taking to protect the NHS and save lives.
But there is no question that this is one of the hardest moments of the whole crisis for many workers. This is particularly true in a sector like hospitality where a collapse in demand means that workers are having shifts cancelled or are being let go all together.
Workers need certainty on what support will be made available by Welsh Government. How will Welsh Government ensure that nightclub workers affected will benefit from the £60m funding that has been announced? Equally will this money support workers in the wider hospitality sector?
Tightening restrictions combined with no furlough scheme and a sharply rising cost of living is an absolute nightmare scenario for low paid and insecure workers.
Ultimately the responsibility here lies with the UK Government. They appear to be burying their heads in the sand when it comes to supporting workers. We need to see furlough rebooted immediately.
In the meantime, the Welsh Government needs to quickly ramp up its own financial support to people who are struggling.
This means ensuring that the emergency financial help available through the Discretionary Assistance Fund meets the level of demand we’re seeing. The scheme needs to be re-opened to the thousands of people who are currently locked out of it because they have reached the claims cap, and to be widely publicised so that people know that help is available.”