Wales TUC General Secretary Shavanah Taj said:
“A worker is not responsible for their place of work, their employer is. This sets a really worrying precedent that the responsibility is somehow shared, and is at best naïve. We hope Welsh Government urgently repeals this to remove the fine on workers.”
The Wales TUC meets regularly with Welsh Government through various social partnership arrangements, including the Shadow Social Partnership Council (SSPC). Although the last meeting of the SSPC was held on Thursday 16 December, trade unions were not consulted on the plans to fine workers or made aware of the changes to the regulations, which were published on Saturday.
Trades unions have also warned that workers are being overlooked in Welsh Government decisions to shut down certain sectors.
Responding to the latest announcement to cancel live sports events from Boxing Day, Shavanah Taj said:
“We are concerned that Welsh Government is forgetting about the workforce impact of their decisions, particularly on low paid and precarious workers. The decision to stop live sports events at short notice with no mention of the workforce shows a real failure to consider the people that staff these events who will now lose their shifts – and most likely their pay – just days before Christmas.
“While we recognise the main failing here is the UK Government’s decision to not reinstate the furlough and SEISS schemes, we again urge government to put financial support in place for the nightclubs and sports events workers who are likely to be laid off as a result of decisions taken by the Welsh Government.