Speaking after the First Minister’s announcement of the implementation of the first phase of easing lockdown, STUC General Secretary Designate Roz Foyer says:
“We continue to recognise and support the Scottish Government’s cautious approach to easing lock-down, including what looks like a slight delay of the re-opening of construction until satisfactory sector guidance can be agreed.
“As we enter phase 1 and as preparations begin for going beyond that, the effective operation of Test and Protect is vital. We are writing to the First Minister outlining some key asks to ensure the system operates effectively and that the strongest possible message is delivered to employers that workers must be allowed to comply with the Test and Protect system without fear of detriment.
“We urge all workers to engage fully with Test and Protect. As contact tracing is rolled out, demand will grow. We are currently a long way short of the estimated 15,500 tests per day identified by Government necessary to meet future demand. Also, we are currently well short of the 2,000 anticipated contact tracers we will need. Unions have previously raised concerns about progress on reaching this capacity.
“This system will only be effective if workers have confidence and employment security. We are calling on the Government to do all it can to impress upon employers that there must be no work-related disincentives to workers fully complying with Test and Protect.
“Each and every employer should be expected to make clear statements in support of Test and Protect and outline their policy to support workers to comply with it. That should mean no pressure on workers to present for work, no pressure for those on insecure and zero hours contracts and financial support should go well beyond Statutory Sick Pay for those who cannot work due to the provisions of Test and Protect.”