Andy McDonald responds to new government advice on working safely during Covid-19

Andy McDonald MP, Labour’s Shadow Secretary of State for Employment Rights and Protections, responding to new government advice on working safely during Covid-19, said:

“We welcome that this guidance has adopted some of the measures called for by the TUC and Labour, but it still falls short of providing a clear plan for a safe return to work outside the home.

“Not only is there no new safety standard, the new guidance risks lowering standards in practice by failing to make employees and employers aware of their existing rights and duties or put in place a process to enforce safe working standards. It is also confusing that guidance on returning to work was published ahead of guidance on the use of public transport.

“There is no obligation for employers with fewer than 50 employees to publish risk assessments, which should be required so they can be scrutinised.

“After a decade of budget cuts, the Health and Safety Executive does not have the resources to inspect workplaces. Without sufficient funding, laws protecting workers and public health cannot be enforced.”

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