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Covid-19: Support for Businesses

Part of Treasury – in the House of Commons on 24th March 2020.

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Photo of John Martin McDonnell John Martin McDonnell Shadow Chancellor of the Exchequer

We have an urgent question on the self-employed after this, but to add to the comments that have been made so far, there is a sense of urgency about this now. There is no Member of this House who has not been contacted by a constituent who is in quite a distressed state about that. One of the most effective ways of supporting businesses is to make sure that the whole workforce is supported. There is another group—2 million workers are on zero-hours and there are part-time workers. They are still not eligible for statutory sick pay and they appear to be excluded as well from the job retention scheme, which is focused on the definition of “employees” while, in law, these are referred to and defined as “workers”. I have written to the Chancellor about this, so will he make a statement urgently that sets out how these workers will be protected in the same way as other workers were in the announcement on Friday?