Act immediately to address workers and business confusion over furloughing of workers

March 23rd 2020

Act immediately to address workers and business confusion over furloughing of workers

March 23rd 2020

STUC: UK Government must act immediately to address workers and business confusion over furloughing of workers. Businesses still taking dubious decisions to stay open.

The STUC today called for urgent additional guidance and clearly publicised instructions for business as it received dozens of reports of business confusion and failure to communicate with workers. It urged workers to contact their union reps, to join a union if not yet a member, and email their concerns to the STUC.

It also said that some businesses were taking dubious decisions to stay open despite the offer of support for furloughed workers and urged them to heed the advice of the First Minister in her statement of Monday 23rd March.

The STUC further stated that workers fearing for their safety had legal rights to exclude themselves form the workplace and that any workers forced to do so should be receiving full pay.

STUC General Secretary Designate Rozanne Foyer said:

“Over the weekend we issued the best guidance we could for workers likely to be furloughed. It wasn’t only workers, but businesses themselves who were in touch to say that ours was the best advice available. We have contacted the Federation of Small Business today to offer to work with them on providing clarity.

“We have also been contacted by workers who are worried that their employer is not moving quickly enough to close down operations. In at least one case, incentives to stay on are being offered to workers as an alternative to furlough. We support employers recognising that their workers are going the extra mile, this should be the subject of negotiation and undertaken with full health and safety consultation. We don’t want this to act as an incentive for non-essential workers to present for work when they should be self-isolating or when their health or safety might be compromised, for example, when they don’t have adequate PPE.

“The STUC said the workers who are concerned about their employers not taking the correct actions or those need advice on their rights should contact their health and safety reps or contact the STUC for advice on how to join a union.

“There is still a lot of confusion about who qualifies for the 80% wage support and we need urgent clarity on the calculation for zero and short-term contract workers as well as agency workers. We need urgent advice on these issues”

ENDS

For further details please contact Dave Moxham, Deputy General Secretary, 07891026870

Rachel Thomson Campaigns & Communications Officer Scottish Trades Union Congress 07974966227

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