West Lancashire MP Rosie Cooper has continued to seek clarity from Government on support for workers who are from shielded households.

Following the Business Secretary’s statement to the House of Commons this week on the Government’s new Covid-19 secure workplace guidance, MP Rosie queried whether he will advise employers to use the job retention scheme for the shielded group of people and their household members, so they do not face an impossible choice between returning to work and breaching public health advice.

There was no mention of this in the Secretary’s statement and his response to Rosie Cooper MP was equally empty of any substance.

The Secretary replied stating ‘our guidance makes reference to employers having to consider those who are particularly vulnerable and in those sorts of categories—expectant mothers and so on—and we want them to make sure those people are being taken care of and catered for.’

West Lancashire MP Rosie Cooper commented on the Secretary, Alok Sharma’s response, saying:
“There will be many homes where a family member is shielding, and consequently other members of the household who are on furlough are also shielding to protect the vulnerable person.

“These workers need to continue to be furloughed (provided they can’t work from home) to ensure they can continue to protect the vulnerable member of their household – or is the Government going to move the worker out of their home into some other short term accommodation?

“Unfortunately the Secretary of State ignored my question and talked about other aspects and offered absolutely no clarity on whether employers are being advised to use the Job Retention Scheme or not for those who have family members who are shielding.

“I have further taken this up with the Secretary through letters and Parliamentary Questions in order to get a proper answer to an important question.”

 

Covid-19: Business

– in the House of Commons at 1:53 pm on 12th May 2020.

Rosie Cooper Labour, West Lancashire

How do the Government intend to ensure that the shielded group of people and their household members do not face an impossible choice between returning to work and breaching public health advice? Will the Secretary of State advise employers to use the job retention scheme for this group when needed?

Alok Sharma The Secretary of State for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy

Our guidance makes reference to employers having to consider those who are particularly vulnerable and in those sorts of categories—expectant mothers and so on—and we want them to make sure those people are being taken care of and catered for. None of the equalities legislation has changed; at the end of the day, this is guidance, but overlaid by the current regulatory regime in place across the country.

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