Eurofound's EU PolicyWatch collates information on the responses of government and social partners to the COVID-19 crisis, the war in Ukraine, rising inflation, as well as gathering examples of company practices aimed at mitigating the social and economic impacts.
Factsheet for measure GB-2020-14/1130 – measures in United Kingdom
|Country||United Kingdom , applies nationwide|
|Time period||Open ended, started on 03 April 2020|
|Type||Other initiatives or policies|
Protection of workers, adaptation of workplace
– Well-being of workers
|Author||Claire Evans (Warwick University) and Eurofound|
|Measure added||15 September 2020 (updated 04 October 2020)|
In response to the pandemic and the concomitant changes to working life, the TUC has published a series of guides for member trade unions and their representatives. These have focused on how to keep workplaces and workers safe, the social security system and sick pay, as well as guidance on how to negotiate with employers and organise workplaces. These guides have been updated over the course of the pandemic.
Essentially, this guide for unions pointed out that trade unions must challenge employers and government over inadequate sick pay offers, failure to provide personal protective equipment (PPE) and testing, and the urgent need to safeguard jobs in disrupted industries. The TUC also urged that in the immediate and longer-term, it is important that the effect of any pandemic does not disproportionately hit the most vulnerable, such as the low paid, those without permanent employment or sick pay schemes and those with dependents.
The guide covers home working, self-isolation, sickness absence and sick pay schemes, occupational health and safety i.e. workplace hygiene, personal protective equipment (PPE), personal hygiene, what employers must do; planning and organising in the workplace; and specific guidance for those on zero-hours contracts.
This is a guide for trade unions and workplace representatives, produced by the Trades Union Congress. It is publicly and openly available on its website. Thus, evaluation data as to numbers accessing and implementation of measures is not available.
|Applies to all workers||Does not apply to businesses||Does not apply to citizens|
Social partners' role in designing the measure and form of involvement:
|Trade unions||Employers' organisations|
|Role||Agreed (outcome) incl. social partner initiative||No involvement|
|Form||Any other form of consultation, institutionalised (as stable working groups or committees) or informal||Not applicable|
Social partners' role in the implementation, monitoring and assessment phase:
This is a measure initiated and implemented by the Trades Union Congress; it is thus a union measure, designed by that body. Implementation would occur at workplace level by union representatives drawn from numerous unions. Thus, the TUC would not actually be directly involved in implementation or monitoring (although it may conduct survey research into responses at a later date).
Such involvement by the TUC was not requested or demanded; it was a voluntary initiative designed to assist workers and union representatives within workplaces.
As the measure is designed to uphold existing law and ensure health and safety, it can be assumed that there is broad support.
Eurofound (2020), COVID-19 coronavirus guidance for unions, measure GB-2020-14/1130 (measures in United Kingdom), EU PolicyWatch, Dublin, https://static.eurofound.europa.eu/covid19db/cases/GB-2020-14_1130.html
30 January 2023
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12 September 2022
Although the worldwide pandemic situation had already disrupted supply chains and triggered increases in energy and food prices in 2021, the situation deteriorated in 2022 with the Russian invasion of Ukraine.Article
12 September 2022
This article summarises the first policy responses that governments across the EU have started to implement to support companies affected by the rising prices, and those with commercial ties to Ukraine, Russia or Belarus.Article
Disclaimer: This information has not been subject to the full Eurofound evaluation, editorial and publication process.