Government steps up urgency but still fails to offer the support and respect for workers being seen in other affected countries
STUC General Secretary Designate Rozanne Foyer said:
“It finally seems to be dawning on the Government that we are in the middle of a crisis. We note the offer to engage with unions to bring forward proposals for additional forms of employment support. Unions will answer that call because we have been pressing for action for weeks.
“However, the big question is why has it taken so long? Why was the Prime Minister not burning the midnight oil to have a deal for workers ready to go today? He could and should have linked business support to Fair Work ensuring that workers do not suffer.
“Tory inaction is in stark contrast to other European countries. In Sweden laid off workers are guaranteed 90% of their income. In Denmark the Government is picking up the bill from employers for sick pay. In New Zealand there is a wage subsidy package of £290 per week and in Spain Private Hospitals have been nationalised.
“The Government could have announced meaningful help for folk with their rents and utility bills and immediately moved sick pay to the level of the real Living Wage.
“As things stands precarious workers will become more precarious and there is little here for the self-employed. £330 billion for big business and just £1 billion for the most vulnerable shows where this Government’s priorities really lie.
“As the Communication Workers Union have shown today, workers stand ready to play their full part in tackling this crisis. All workers need in return is for government to provide them with the security and the respect they deserve.”