Friday 29 January 2021 / 11:47 AM Andy McDonald / Employment

Labour calls for rules on workplace safety to be strengthened

Labour says the Government urgently needs to strengthen workplace safety rules following a BBC investigation revealing more than 60 suspected Covid-19 outbreaks in offices were recorded in the first two weeks of the current lockdown.

Labour is calling on the Government to urgently:

  • Clarify the stay-at-home message
  • Rewrite outdated workplace safety rules – in response to new, more transmissible virus strains and the science about the importance of ventilation
  • Strengthen health and safety enforcement – after a decade of cuts has left agencies under-resourced
  • Improve economic support – to support businesses through closures, address the gaps in support for the self-employed, ensure financial support allows workers to self-isolate, and address the inadequacy of Statutory Sick Pay

Andy McDonald MP, Labour’s Shadow Secretary for Employment Rights and Protections, said: 

“Labour and the trade unions have repeatedly warned that the Government is neglecting workplace protections. Weak and outdated workplace safety rules and a lack of enforcement are putting workers and the general public at risk. Rules on safe workplaces haven’t been updated for the new virus strains or scientific knowledge about how the virus is spread.

“To help prevent the spread of the virus, the Government must clarify the stay at home message, rewrite outdated workplace safety rules and strengthen health and safety enforcement.”