Coronavirus Bill must not force healthcare staff to the front line, says UNISON

Proper pay and protection needed for those who volunteer

Responding to the emergency legislation bill published today (Thursday) UNISON general secretary Dave Prentis said:

“The UK is facing exceptional circumstances and this emergency legislation will help the country cope with the threat from Covid-19.

“But for the legislation to be truly effective it must enshrine the principle that student and retired health workers are volunteers and not conscripts to the fight against the virus.

“They should not be forced to the front line and must be protected – and paid properly – if they do volunteer.

“The government must work with unions, and professional bodies representing student healthcare staff and doctors, to ensure the interests of these groups are written into the bill.”

Notes to editors:
– UNISON is the UK’s largest union, with more than 1.3 million members providing public services – in education, local government, the NHS, police service and energy. They are employed in both the public and private sectors.

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