Shielded workers ‘may lose govt support’

TUC General Secretary, Frances O'Grady, has called on the government to support the most vulnerable workers to stay at home.

22 Jun 2020| News

The Labour Party has warned that the deadline preventing new applications to the Job Retention Scheme after 10 June will exempt workers forced to shield due to health conditions diagnosed after that date from support.
Speaking to the Independent, TUC General Secretary, Frances O’Grady, called on the government to exempt those forced to stay at home due to their vulnerability from the illness from any end to the furlough scheme.

“I think the government needs to commit that any worker who can’t be in work because they’re shielding will continue to be protected,” she said.

“For sure, let’s talk about how much employers should be putting in the pot and how much we as taxpayers should be putting in the pot – and let’s make it conditional on protecting jobs. But we need answers to that.”

She also warned that the “rigid approach” to the end of the furlough scheme could put the hardest hit industries at risk.

“I think what’s key is that the government needs to be prepared to be flexible. We’ve got industries that can get back up on their feet quickly, and that’s great,” she said.

“You’ve got other industries that can recover, but frankly it’s going to take years – industries like aviation, hospitality, creative.”