Coronavirus crisis - advice

Coronavirus: Information for workers

If you need to stay at home because you, or someone you live with, have coronavirus symptoms, you could be eligible to Statutory Sick Pay from day one. Employers should be flexible regarding medical evidence as in some cases you will be asked to self-isolate for up to 14 days. If your workplace closes due to coronavirus, under the government’s Coronavirus Job Retention Scheme you will receive 80% of wages up to £2,500 per month.

Coronavirus: Information for tenants

The government has banned any eviction in social or private accommodation while the coronavirus crisis is taking place. The government will be legislating urgently to ban landlords to start any eviction procedure in the upcoming three-month period.

Coronavirus: Information for claimants

People receiving benefits do not have to attend Jobcentre appointments for at least 3 months, starting from Thursday the 19th of March 2020. People will continue to receive their benefits as normal, but all requirements to attend the Jobcentre in person are suspended. People can still make applications for benefits online if they are eligible.

Coronavirus News

New Social Distancing Measures and How to Stay Safe at Work

The government has announced that social distancing can be reduced from two to one metre but only if measures are in place to mitigate the risk. Examples of measures that can be used to mitigate the risk include, consider if the activity needs to continue, working back to back or side to side, screens being fitted to protect workers, only working together at less than two metres apart for short periods and reducing the number of people each person has contact with.

If your employer is making you work within two metres of another person, with no mitigating measures in place, they are breaking the government guidelines.

The government has produced guidelines on what measures employers should be taking to protect workers for the following sectors

Returning to work after the lockdown and staying safe

Working from home

The government guidelines are clear, your employer should  take all reasonable steps to allow you to work from home. You should only be asked to return to work if it is not possible to work from home. If your employer is demanding you return to work when it is possible to work from home, write to them making it clear that they are breaking government guidelines.
If you are working from home your employer still has a duty of care. They should protect your mental and physical wellbeing, including providing you with all the equipment and information you need to work  from home safely. 

Returning to work

Worker’s rights rely on our own strength and power

There has been a lot said since yesterday about health and safety at work, and workers' S.44 right to refuse unsafe work. The right to refuse dangerous work is vital and the fact that more people are being made aware of this right is great to see.
However, the law only goes so far. Bosses regularly break all kinds of laws. The only legal way to enforce these rules in the workplace is through an employment tribunal which is an expensive, complicated and time-consuming process.

Free market failings in the coronavirus crisis

Whatever happened to free market solutions? Since the dark days of Thatcherism, we have been told that the state is inefficient and things should be left to the free market. Yet here we are in the middle of the coronavirus crisis and free market solutions are nowhere to be seen. Instead, it has been the state that has been forced to step in and prevent the economy and society from collapsing amid the chaos of an out of control pandemic.

Pub Invest Group workers fight back: No redundancies for COVID-19!

A week after the closure of all hospitality business, the workers of Pub Invest Group from Liverpool got bad news.

Due to the COVID-19 crisis, they were not able to give any hours to their workers as they don’t have the resources to cover their staff wages. They did, however, wish best luck to all their workforce and to see them back soon when they open again.

Pub Invest Groups owns some of the most popular night pubs in the central area of Liverpool such as Einsteins, Moloko or McCooley’s. As it is common in the hospitality industry, they show their appreciation for their staff with low-pay and job insecurity.

During the Coronavirus crisis we are having the chance of seen this in many places. Although the Government is offering the coverage of wages through the Job Retention Scheme, some employers just prefer to get rid of people.

Pub Invest Group workers fight back: No redundancies for COVID-19!

A week after the closure of all hospitality business, the workers of Pub Invest Group from Liverpool got bad news.

Due to the COVID-19 crisis, they were not able to give any hours to their workers as they don’t have the resources to cover their staff wages. They did, however, wish best luck to all their workforce and to see them back soon when they open again.

Pub Invest Groups owns some of the most popular night pubs in the central area of Liverpool such as Einsteins, Moloko or McCooley’s. As it is common in the hospitality industry, they show their appreciation for their staff with low-pay and job insecurity.

During the Coronavirus crisis we are having the chance of seen this in many places. Although the Government is offering the coverage of wages through the Job Retention Scheme, some employers just prefer to get rid of people.

PPE AND AGENCY WORKERS

We have received enquires from agency workers asking whose responsibility is it to provide them with Personal Protective Equipment (PPE), is it the employment agency or the end-user? Under the Personal Protective Equipment at Work Regulations 1992, the employment agency is responsible for ensuring any necessary PPE is provided to agency workers.

Battling Boris Defeats the Coronavirus

Great news that Boris is now out of hospital and resting at Chequers after defeating the coronavirus. Where others have succumbed to the virus through lack of willpower, our brave Boris took on the virus, and showing true Dunkirk spirit, single-handedly beat the virus through pure strength of character. It was great to see the press exercising their right to criticise and hold to account, in the world’s greatest democracy, by falling over themselves to heap praise on our truly courageous leader. Totally disregarding the acute suffering of the thousands who have died in hospital, the media was able to lift the spirits of the nation by focusing on the high spirits of our leader from is ICU bed and his whiling away the hours in hospital by reading the comic book Tintin. 

Care worker organising in a pandemic

Care workers right now are facing a huge challenge. We were overworked, at risk and underpaid before Covid-19 came along. A lot of us are facing massive upheaval in our work and personal lives. Lockdown is stopping us from seeing our friends, family and colleagues, and the demands nowaced on the NHS, care homes and other workplaces have increased and changed rapidly. So now more than ever we are asking, what can we do?

What are we facing?

Some of the issues we are facing are new, and some are old problems exacerbated by the current crisis. The first one we are going to look at is the most common and well known right now.

PPE

Careworkers: Cannon fodder to the coronavirus?

It is well known by anyone who has ever worked in, or been around the social care system, how much employers in that sector try to exploit their staff and just how badly they treat them. Care workers have long felt they are viewed in low regard by both local authorities and the government, until recently being described by both local and national politicians as being ‘low skilled’. This has started to make headlines in the national press and get into the public consciousness and never has it been more apparent than during the current coronavirus crisis, where employers have shown a complete disregard for the safety of not only their workers, but also for the people who use their services.

Latest Update 80% wages Governments Job Retention Scheme

There has been some confusion as to which groups of workers can be placed on furlough under the government’s 80% of wages JoB Retention Scheme. For example, we have had reports of workers who have been instructed to isolate themselves for 12 weeks, due to underlying health conditions, being told that they are only entitled to SSP rather than being placed on furlough.  The government has now made clear who can be placed on furlough under the job retention scheme.

As well as those who have been laid off, the following groups of workers can be furloughed and receive 80% of their pay under the scheme:

Shielding Employees

employees who are shielding themselves for 12 weeks in line with public health guidance.

Caring for someone who is shielding

If you need to stay at home with someone who is shielding you can claim under the scheme.

Pub Invest Group workers fight back: No redundancies for COVID-19!

A week after the closure of all hospitality business, the workers of Pub Invest Group from Liverpool got bad news.

Due to the COVID-19 crisis, they were not able to give any hours to their workers as they don’t have the resources to cover their staff wages. They did, however, wish the best luck to all their workforce and to see them back soon when they open again.

Pub Invest Groups owns some of the most popular night pubs in the central area of Liverpool such as Einsteins, Moloko or McCooley’s. As it is common in the hospitality industry, they show their appreciation for their staff with low-pay and job insecurity.
During the Coronavirus crisis, we are having the chance of seeing this in many places. Although the Government is offering the coverage of wages through the Job Retention Scheme, some employers just prefer to get rid of people.

Close Down All Non-Essential Industries Now

It is clear that the government is trying to protect the UK economy even if this results in more people dying as a result of coronavirus. At the time of writing, whole swathes of the economy are still operating, putting lives at risk. It is now obvious that, in order to stop the spread of the virus, only those sectors of the economy essential to maintaining the health and wellbeing of society should remain open. Yet the government is refusing to shut down large sections of the economy such as online shopping.