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Industrial Health and Safety: Coronavirus

Department for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy written question – answered on 21st May 2020.

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Photo of Ian Lavery Ian Lavery Labour, Wansbeck

To ask the Secretary of State for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy, in the event that businesses are unable to ensure the safety of their workers during the covid-19 outbreak, what steps the Government plans to take to support those businesses and their workers until they are able to reopen safely.

Photo of Paul Scully Paul Scully Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy), Minister of State (London)

Every business is unique, and each employer will need to consider what COVID-19 means for their organisation. In order to help businesses consider this, we have provided guidance on how to carry out risk assessments to work safely in a number of different working environments, such as offices, factories, and working outdoors, so that employers can use the guidance which is most relevant to them. If a business does not reopen following a risk assessment, then that is its own choice.

We have announced unprecedented support for business and workers including the Bounce Bank Loans scheme. My Rt. Hon. Friend Mr Chancellor of the Exchequer has also extended the Job Retention Scheme to the end of October. Future decisions on the scheme will have to take into account the wider context of the economic conditions, social distancing and the public health response, the affordability of the scheme, and the need to provide certainty to employers and employees.

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