Our priority throughout the pandemic has been health and safety. As the virus continues to spread throughout Wales, we urge everyone to follow the latest public health advice from Welsh Government and do whatever we can to stop more people being infected.
We know that many people aren’t working somewhere they feel they can raise concerns. If this is the case, please speak to your trade union straight away. And if you’re not a member of a union, you can contact the Health and Safety Executive.
No one should go without pay as a result of new restrictions. The Coronavirus Job Retention Scheme means that almost all workers (including agency staff and those on zero hours contracts) are eligible to be furloughed for any usual hours lost and receive at least 80% of their pay. If your employer is refusing to do this, speak to your union urgently.
There are also Welsh Government measures in place to to support workers and anyone in need of financial support, including the individual risk assessment tool and information on the Discretionary Assistance Fund if you need emergency financial help. There is also lots of help available if you’re struggling with your mental health and wellbeing – your union can help you find the right support at work, and the Time to Change website has the contact details for organisations you can speak to. If you need to speak to someone urgently about your mental health, contact your GP or ring NHS Direct on 111.
And please remember to get a test straight away if you start to develop symptoms of coronavirus – a new continuous cough, a high temperature or a loss of or change to sense of smell or taste. Doing so will help to protect all those around you, and it will also mean that if you do need to isolate, you may be eligible for the £500 self-isolation payment if your employer doesn’t offer decent sick pay.