Government must not put shopworkers at risk, says Usdaw

Usdaw has said the government must not put supermarket workers at risk of exposure to coronavirus.

Usdaw general secretary Paddy Lillis said: “Usdaw is clear that our members should not be put at risk, or face any detrimental impact, as a result of the government advice. Usdaw has been working with distribution and online retailers throughout the coronavirus outbreak. We have been working to ensure appropriate procedures as the crisis has developed and have secured a number of guarantees around sick pay and family friendly leave provisions.”

Usdaw is also making clear calls on employers to improve health and safety for people working in warehouse and distribution operations:

  • clear provisions for workers to keep at least 2 metres apart at all times, in line with government guidance. This means that, for non-essential business, two-man delivery operations must cease with immediate effect
  • full sick pay for those in vulnerable groups and for individuals who live with people in vulnerable groups
  • additional sinks, provision of hand sanitiser for individuals and provision of cleaning equipment for all work stations
  • increased hours for cleaning staff
  • early shift finishes and guarantee of overtime payments where time spent leaving the site has increased due to queues adhering to social distancing
  • staggered break times along with extra break rooms with adequate rest facilities and additional smoking areas to ensure social distancing
  • flexibility and understanding around childcare issues in light of school closures.


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