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Wales TUC calls for tougher enforcement of Covid workplace safety rules as nation remembers workers who have died during the pandemic
The Wales TUC is today (Wednesday) calling for tougher steps to be taken against bosses in Wales who continue to fall short of their legal obligations on Covid workplace safety.
- New data from Wales TUC/YouGov shows that only 1 in 4 employers in Wales are following Welsh Government Covid regulations – 13 months into the crisis.
- Under 50% of workers in Wales say that their employer has carried out the required Covid risk assessment.
- “Too many employers are still playing fast and loose with workers’ safety”, says Wales TUC.
- National minute of silence to be held at midday to pay tribute to all working people who have died due to work in the past year.
The call comes as workers around the world prepare to mark International Workers’ Memorial Day in memory of those who have died or been injured or infected at work.
New data from research undertaken by YouGov on behalf of the Wales TUC shows that:
- Only 47% of workers say that their employer has undertaken a Covid-secure workplace risk assessment – which is required under the Welsh Government’s Covid regulations.
- Only 23% of workers say that they’ve been consulted on any Covid risk assessment – despite this also being a legal obligation.
- More than 1 in 5 workers said they were in the dark about what to expect from their employers – saying they either knew nothing or very little about employers’ responsibilities on Covid safety.
Wales TUC General Secretary, Shavanah Taj said:
“On International Workers’ Memorial Day, we remember those who have died, and pledge ourselves to fight for safe workplaces for everyone.
"We’ll forever be in the debt of the workers who died during this pandemic – nurses, carers, bus drivers and so many more.
“They lost their lives looking after our loved ones and keeping our country running in the hardest of times.
“We owe it to them to ensure that more is done to tackle employers that are still playing fast and loose with workers’ safety.
“It is absolutely unacceptable that over a year into this crisis most employers in Wales are still failing in their basic legal responsibilities to keep workers safe.
“If employers are not going to act then we need the bodies responsible for enforcing the law to hold them to account.
“There can be no more excuses at this point. All employers should be talking to their workers and producing comprehensive workplace risk assessment and taking every step necessary to minimise risk.”
The national minute’s silence for those who have died
The Wales TUC is asking members of the public to observe a minute’s silence at midday.
Official figures show more than 11,000 working age people across the UK have died since the pandemic began.
Unions will lead the national minute’s silence at the Workers’ Memorial outside the Wales TUC’s offices in Cardiff.
Wales TUC General Secretary Shavanah Taj will be joined by Wales TUC President and GMB Regional Secretary for Wales and South West England, Ruth Brady, alongside representatives from other affiliated unions.
- Wales TUC/YouGov Survey Data: Respondents were asked “Which of the following measures, if any, have been taken to reduce Covid risk at your workplace?”. All figures, unless otherwise stated, are from YouGov Plc. Total sample size was 1,194 adults. Fieldwork was undertaken between 1st - 6th April 2021. The survey was carried out online. The figures have been weighted and are representative of all adults in Wales (aged 16+).
- Coronavirus legislation – which was strengthened by the Welsh Government in January – requires employers to undertake a specific Covid workplace risk assessment and to consult with their workforce on that assessment.
- Every year on 28 April, trade unionists around the world unite to remember those who have died in the course of their work. This year, the TUC will commemorate the large numbers of workers who’ve lost their lives to coronavirus, while also remembering those who have died from other causes.
- The Wales TUC’s International Workers’ Day Memorial ceremony will take place from 11.45am at the Workers’ Memorial outside the Wales TUC offices at 1, Cathedral Road, Cardiff, CF11 9SD. There will be short speeches from the Wales TUC General Secretary and President before the minute’s silence is observed.
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