// Usdaw warns the end of free Covid tests and self-isolation rules will affect shopworkers’ safety
// The union argues that caution is still needed as infection rates and deaths are “still high”
The end of free Covid tests, self-isolation rules and mandatory face masks could affect the safety of shopworkers, warns Usdaw shopworkers union.
Usdaw is urging the government not to end free test kits and the requirement to self-isolate next week.
The union argues that caution is still needed while infection rates and deaths are “still high”. It is also calling for a better deal on statutory sick pay (SSP).
Usdaw wants SSP to go up so that it reflects average pay, rather than the current £96.35 a week.
The union is also asking for SSP to be paid to the lowest-paid workers as those earning under £120 a week do not qualify.
“We can see that rates of coronavirus infections and deaths are thankfully in overall decline, but they are still very high and it is still too soon to be lifting all Covid safety measures,” Usdaw general secretary, Paddy Lillis said.
“Ending free tests and the self-isolation rules will risk more infected people circulating in public and entering shops.
“Coupled with last month’s unnecessary end to mandatory face coverings in stores, that leaves shopworkers at greater risk of infection.
“We are also concerned that charging for tests will price out poorer people and low-paid workers, particularly if rumours of £100 per test are correct.”