The STUC has re-raised concerns with Scottish Government Ministers over a lack of safety restrictions at Level 4 covering schools and non-essential workplaces. Workers should not be required to cross local authorities boundaries to undertake non-essential work. The STUC called on Ministers to address four key areas.
Tier 4 regulations should include the potential for temporary school closures or a move to blended learning
Tier 4 should include the temporary closure of non-essential workplaces in sectors such as construction and manufacturing
Workers should not be required to cross boundaries for work between areas in Tier 4
STUC General Secretary Roz Foyer said:
“We continue to be supportive of a comprehensive framework and the tiered approach to control the virus without a nationwide full lockdown. Bur this is only possible if the Tier 4 regulations are sufficient to reduce infection rates.
“We fear that a degree of complacency had set in around the risk of workplace transmission, including in schools, along with an underestimation of the infection risks of travelling to work in areas with high rates of the virus. It is not good enough to assume that workplace transmission will stay low, particularly if much of the data comes from a period before we saw the current spike in infection rates.
“It does not seem logical to advertise Tier 4 as the highest level of restriction short of a national lockdown and then not have the measures in place to ensure the most effective control of the virus locally. Earlier this year, as infection rates were rising, non-essential workplaces were closed and schools were not opened. We haven’t yet heard a satisfactory answer as to why this is not the case now in Tier 4.
“We do support keeping schools open wherever possible, but not at any cost. Nor does it seem right that workers should be compelled to cross local authority boundaries, to or from work, when they would be barred from doing this for other purposes.
“If we are to ensure that Tier 4 works and that a full national lockdown is not necessary, we need more vigilance and more consistency.”
For more information, please contact Dave Moxham, Deputy General Secretary, on 07891026870.