Unions Call For Clarity After PM Makes Modifications To COVID-19 Guidelines

By Rachael Grealish

Unions call for further clarity after the Prime Minister’s addressed England about modifications to COVID-19 guidelines.

In the announcement on Sunday, Boris Johnson called for those who can not work from home to contact employers about returning to work.

This has led to England taking a different track from the rest of the three nations and has caused confusion.

Jay McKenna, TUC North West Acting Regional Secretary, said “Too many people will have watched the Prime Minister’s statement and been left with more questions than answers.

“They will have asked themselves if they’re expected to go back to work but even now there are mixed messages about when they might be expected to go back and who should be returning to work.

“And if they are to go back, how will they be kept safe? How will they get there? How can they arrange childcare? What if they don’t feel like they can go back? 

“Workers deserve certainty but there can be no going back to normal.

“We all want to come through this crisis, together and strong enough to recover from it.

“But the way that you do this, is working together to do it at the right time and with proper plans in place.

“This means having safe returns to work and plans for how work might look in the short and longer term.

“Trade unions have played an important role in getting us through this crisis to date, working with local leaders to keep services running and workers safe.

“As we enter the next phase, and look at how we return to work, workers must be heard to keep it safe and ensure there is no going back to what went before.

“It is important that the government gives more information so that we can have confidence it can work. Without this, it is a recipe for confusion and chaos.”

UNISON general secretary Dave Prentis has followed suit saying “Getting the UK working again, while stopping the spread of the virus, saving lives and keeping us all safe is paramount.

“Clarity, not confusion, is essential if this is to happen. But the danger is that people are now more bewildered than they are reassured.

“This is made worse now that England is out of step with the rest of the UK.

“The UK has got to get back to work and school, but it must be a safe return for workers and their families.

“Otherwise all the benefits of the lockdown will be squandered, and a second wave could prove too much for the NHS and other frontline services.

“Many people will now be trying to get their hands on masks to cover their faces on public transport and in supermarkets.

“The government must ensure surgical standard PPE supplies aren’t disrupted for the NHS and social care.

“And ministers must put in place a comprehensive test, track and trace strategy at the earliest opportunity.”

Unions aren’t the only one’s the PM has faced criticism from, just after his address to the country on Sunday, May 10, the leader of the Labour party, Sir Keir Starmer, also stressed for more clarity from the government.

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