key workers
key workers

Labour councillors have called for an end to all non-essential work in Stroud district to prevent the spread of coronavirus.

They are urging Stroud MP Siobhan Baillie to raise the issue with the government as a matter of urgency.

Leader of the Labour Group Councillor Doina Cornell said: “The government’s advice about going to work is confusing and contradictory. Key workers have to go to work to keep essential services running.

“Everyone else has been urged to work from home if possible. Employers who are insisting on their workers coming in must have social distancing and safety measures in place. If not, workers are risking their lives – and those of their families – by turning up to non-essential jobs every day, mixing with work colleagues and potentially spreading the virus among them.

“We have had reports from a local factory where no safety measures are in place, where employees, including pregnant women, people with heart conditions, diabetes and on immunosuppressant drugs, are still expected to come into work.”

Labour councillors also called on the government to support self-employed workers losing income.

Doina Cornell said: “There are many freelancers working in the creative industries in Stroud district, as well as thousands of self-employed contractors, including builders, plumbers, electricians, gardeners, hairdressers and others.

“A promise of £94 statutory sick pay each week is not enough. They are facing the choice of staying at home without pay, or going to work to be paid, putting themselves and others at risk.”

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