Issue date
General Secretary Shavanah Taj said:

“The greatest risk facing the Welsh economy remains a failure to get the coronavirus under control. Despite the progress that has been made, the outbreaks in Welsh meat processing plants have served to underline the challenge we face.

“We have broadly supported the Welsh Government’s cautious and science-led approach to easing the lockdown measures. The First Minister has been right to resist pressure to simply follow the reckless decisions made by the UK Government. We believe at this point that maintaining the 2m social distancing rule is the best way to protect workers in Wales.

“Our priority remains protecting workers’ lives. The agencies that are tasked with ensuring that workplaces are safe have been massively undermined by 10 years of austerity. That’s why we have been calling for a new Welsh Health and Safety Taskforce to be established in order to bring enforcement agencies, unions, Welsh Government and employer bodies together so that we can take a proactive, co-ordinated and strategic approach to workplace safety.

“We also need urgent action on sick pay. Low paid workers are being expected to isolate for extended periods on £95 a week. This is not fair or sustainable. We want to see the rate of Statutory Sick Pay increased to at least the level of the Real Living Wage. If the UK Government is not going to act on this then the Welsh Government should work with us to find immediate solutions.”