STUC, COVID Groups and Independent Sage launch Covid-19 Safety Pledge
A coalition of trade unions, covid safety groups and the Independent SAGE have launched a new ‘Covid-19 Safety Pledge’, designed to ensure workplaces adopt measures to minimize the spread of COVID-19 infections.
The Pledge, aimed at workplaces in both the public and private sectors, asks employers to sign up to three key commitments: protect workers and customers from Covid-19, risk assess their premises and practices to safeguard against infection and specifically ask any workers who test positive for Covid to stay at home while infectious and to provide the support necessary for them to do so.
Employers who sign up for the scheme will be presented as a covid safe workplace, with their name displayed on the Pledge website (covidpledge.co.uk) in addition to being able to display the Pledge sign within their premises. The move has been backed by the Scottish Trades Union Congress (STUC) in addition to covid support groups such as Covid Families for Justice and Clinically Vulnerable Families. The STUC warned that employers in Scotland should not roll back on health and safety and support for staff. Supermarket giant Sainsbury recently introduced a policy that allows staff to attend work if infected with covid and punishes them for covid related absence.
Commenting, STUC General Secretary Roz Foyer said:
“It’s vitally important that the legacy of COVID-19 isn’t a rollback on workers’ safety or rights. The Covid-19 Safety Pledge allows employers to stand by their workers, ensuring the highest levels of protection against infection are taken, in addition to supporting staff and consumer wellbeing whilst on their premises.
“For people across Scotland – especially those who are clinically vulnerable - this Pledge can act as a clear indicator of responsibility and support for employers wanting to do right by their staff, customers and service users.
“We are also calling on the Scottish Government to support the pledge. Our joint COVID-19 Fair Work Statement should be updated for the new circumstances but also to continue to commit to the fair treatment of workers and the control of the virus.”