Daily Express

Warning to firms who don’t

- By News Reporter

BUSINESS Secretary Alok Sharma has said the Health and Safety Executive is prepared to take action against firms which did not take steps to ensure the safety of staff returning to work.

He told the No10 daily coronaviru­s briefing: “Employers have a duty to keep employees safe in the workplace. That is absolutely enshrined in law.

“If somebody feels their workplace is not safe, they have to take that up with their employer. If they don’t feel they are getting any traction they absolutely should get in touch with the Health and Safety Executive or the local authority.”

Mr Sharma urged bosses to work with employees and unions to develop safe ways of reopening following the lockdown.

He said that he was struck by “the way people have looked out for each other” during the pandemic.

He added that the safety guidance issued by his department and the extension to the furlough scheme announced by the Chancellor were in keeping with that public spirit.

And he went on: “To employers I say – use this support and guidance to know you are doing the right thing and work with

your unions and workers to keep each other safe.

“To workers I say – we are looking out for you, we want you to feel confident that you are financiall­y supported and returning to a safe workplace.

“Because in this time, like no other, we all need to work together safely as we rebuild our economy.”

Mr Sharma told the briefing that care homes were being supported through the crisis despite concerns from the sector.

He acknowledg­ed “it is a difficult time for business” but the Government was providing support including £8billion through the bounce-back loan scheme.

Another £6billion was coming through the coronaviru­s business interrupti­on loan scheme.

Mr Sharma added: “What we are doing in terms of supporting care homes is also ensuring that we get PPE to them. We are also making sure that we are able to provide testing – through mobile testing – to support staff and also those who are in the care homes.”

Mr Sharma also rejected the idea of a universal basic income (UBI) in the future, despite support for the scheme in Scotland.

In response to a question at the briefing he said UBI was being tested in other countries but it “has not been taken forward”.

 ??  ?? Mr Sharma at yesterday’s briefing
Mr Sharma at yesterday’s briefing

Newspapers in English

Newspapers from United Kingdom