Rachael Maskell MP - Shadow Secretary of State for Employment Rights
Rachael Maskell MP - Shadow Secretary of State for Employment Rights

Over the last few days, Rachael Maskell MP for York Central has listened to 100s of constituents describing their working environment. Employers, mainly in non-essential area, are forcing workers to clock on and off together, change into work clothes together, failing to institute any form of social distancing and not providing any PPE (Personal Protective Equipment) and in some cases any hygiene facilities. Warehouses, construction sites, call centres and factories appear to be the worst places.

Rachael has listened to very worried workers who have been told that they will be disciplined if they self-isolate because they have an underlying health condition or will not be paid.

This is how Coronavirus will spread like wildfire. If people are travelling to work on public transport, then working in close proximity to each other all day, and then travelling back home to their families in the evening, infection spread could sharply escalate. Already the NHS is overstretched, but more cases of Coronavirus means that many more people could miss out on vital treatment and many more could die.

Rachael Maskell is making the plea, that all non-essential work, including on-line shopping warehouses now furlough their workers and shut their doors. She will be reporting all of these employers to the Local Authority, the Health and Safety Executive and the Business Secretary this coming week if they continue to put their workers at risk. The Health and Safety at Work Act 1974 makes it clear that employers have a duty to their staff, and some employers

Responding to the situation, Rachael Maskell says, “Many employers have done the right thing and protected their staff during this crisis, and while I know how difficult this is for them, I applaud them in doing the right thing. However the examples that I have been given of York employers has been truly shocking. I want us all to do everything possible to protect this city from the worst aspects of Coronavirus, and yet we have local employers doing the reverse. They are endangering us all.

“I will be contacting all employers where workers have contacted me to make the case that they must shut their doors according to Government guidance, if they do not, I will be reporting them, to ensure that the statutory authorities fulfil their legal responsibilities. Some employers names have come up time and time and time again. This exploitation of workers, and putting their lives at risk must end. Provision has been made for employers to furlough their workers so 80% of their pay is protected by the Government with the employer able to make up the other 20%.”

We know that the prevalence of Coronavirus is far higher than the statists are showing us, because of the lack of testing, despite the World Health Organisation saying that we should ‘test, test, test”. There is a very high risk of infection spread in York, so Rachael Maskell MP will do everything she can to stop the spread of Coronavirus in York.

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