Issue date
In response to today’s announcement of a firebreak lockdown, Wales TUC General Secretary Shavanah Taj said:

Welsh Government are right to act decisively now in order to attempt to limit the damage to people’s lives and livelihoods from the virus over the coming winter months.
Our priority is limiting the financial impact on Welsh workers and we have been working very closely with Welsh Government to deliver the best possible outcome.

But UK Government need to act now to provide decent wage support. Earlier this year Rishi Sunak said that he would do ‘whatever it takes’ to support people through the crisis – and it is essential that he fulfils that promise now.

We are deeply worried that the UK Government’s proposed support for workers falls well short of what was done during the first wave and may limit what can be done to stop the spread of the virus. We repeat our demand for the UK Government to act now so that:

  • Workers have 80% of their wages covered through the Job Support Scheme where businesses are forced to close.
  • Firms which are hit by the new restrictions but can legally stay open need a more generous short-time working scheme, with significantly reduced employer contributions.
  • There is extra help for the overlooked self-employed and freelancers.

It’s vital that Welsh Government also now works to ensure that there is proper support for vulnerable people to enable them to shield, an effective system for guaranteeing that people that are asked to isolate don’t lose out financially, and further clarity and direction on how the virus will be managed beyond this lockdown. We need to support workers who have been at the frontline in tackling this crisis in March and make sure that everything possible is being done to maintain health and wellbeing.