It’s good for many workers that the government has listened to the concerns of my party and unions and has now promised significantly more action on wage protections and some aspects of Statutory Sick Pay and social security.
It has taken far too long to get here but finally, the government seems to have realised that letting workers and jobs take the primary hit for this crisis is not sustainable or just. When we look back on this episode in years to come, people will be asking why it took several weeks for the chancellor to even say the words that “no-one will have to get through this alone”.
There are also still big gaps in help for two million low earners with no sick pay and the hundreds of thousands of self-employed people who are seeing work dry up. Ominously, the Chancellor’s wage protection plan doesn’t require employers to retain staff throughout this crisis. It would be a travesty if after the billions of public money that is going into keeping businesses afloat, workers end up being laid off anyway.