Government rescue plan for workers must go further says Prospect

20 March 2020

Prospect has welcomed some measures announced by the Chancellor on Friday evening to protect workers during the Covid-19 pandemic, but called for far more to be done to make sure everyone is covered.

The new scheme includes income support for employees who face being let go and some changes to the tax and benefit systems, but appears to exclude freelance and self-employed workers and do little for the thousands of workers who have already lost their jobs.

Prospect general secretary Mike Clancy said:

“The government has finally acted to secure incomes during the pandemic and we welcome the steps they have taken on universal credit, tax delays and income protection for employees.

“However this is far from the ‘whatever it takes’ approach the Chancellor promised and his plan still contains gaping holes which could sink many family finances and ultimately the economy.

“This is too late for many of our members from flight engineers to cinema staff who have already been let go. The Chancellor must make it clear that these workers should be rehired with their incomes secured by government for the duration of the crisis. They should not pay the price of the government dragging its feet.

“There is still no real protection for freelance, self-employed and contract workers who seem not to be covered by the income protection scheme and are being left to struggle through the inadequate benefits system .

“Nobody should have to endure this crisis without support. Prospect will continue to fight hard for a truly comprehensive approach that covers all workers.”