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Commenting on the Chancellor’s announcement on wage subsidies today (Friday), TUC General Secretary Frances O’Grady said:

“This is a breakthrough. The Chancellor has shown real leadership. We’re glad he has listened to unions and taken vital steps to support working families.

“Large-scale wage subsidies are the best way to boost household finances and keep businesses running. And they’ll help our economy bounce back after this crisis.

“Employers across the economy can now be confident that they will be able to pay their wage bills. They must urgently reassure their staff that their jobs and livelihoods are safe.

“Unions will continue to work with business and government to protect jobs and livelihoods.”


Notes to editors:
 - TUC experts are available for briefing on the details of the package.

- Earlier this week, a TUC report set out five actions urgently needed to minimise the impact of the coronavirus on workers, the economy and public health:

  1. Provide wage subsidies for short-time working - all industries will be hit hard by coronavirus so the government must step up and help fund wages now. Just like in Germany, Denmark and Sweden the government should subsidise wages for reduced hours and help working families.
  2. Sick pay for all – ministers must ensure that sick pay is available for everyone, including the 2 million low-paid workers who currently don’t earn enough to qualify for it. In addition, sick pay must be increased to at least the real living wage. £94 a week is not enough for people to survive on – especially over a prolonged period.
  3. Parental leave support - ministers have to sort out parental leave and financial support for working families. They must not lose out if their kids cannot go to school or nursery.  
  4. Provide further significant economic stimulus – the government must help people meet their rent, mortgage and debt payments, give people living on benefits and pensions a significant bump in income.
  5. Assemble a national taskforce – ministers need to pull together employers, unions and government agencies to make sure coronavirus doesn’t lead to a recession and mass unemployment  

- The Trades Union Congress (TUC) exists to make the working world a better place for everyone. We bring together more than 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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