Coronavirus: how is your employer responding?

Sheffield TUC would like to know how your employer is responding to the Coronavirus pandemic

  • Have you negotiated a collective agreement?
  • Are you in talks, or waiting for talks?
  • Has your employer acted unilaterally and imposed changes?

Many individual Trade Unions are giving out advice to union reps how to deal with the Coronavirus. See this useful link for the TUC on-line guide:

Some of the issues facing workers and trade unions include:

  • Sick leave for those infected with the virus, those self-isolating as a precaution, or those who have to stay at home to look after family members as result of the outbreak. Is it full pay? Will there still be absence monitoring? How long can employees stay off sick for?
  • Are jobs secure? Will there be lay-offs, if so on what terms? Will the employer be making redundancies?
  • What precautions are being taken in the workplace to make employees as safe as possible? If there is close interaction with the public, is there a need for protective clothing or other special arrangements? Are there enhanced cleaning regimes? Are the cleaners themselves being looked after properly?
  • What happens if workers on sick leave make the company short-staffed? Does this mean extra workload/more hours for those who stay at work? How can workloads be managed fairly? Will there be pay enhancements?

We say Coronavirus is a Trade union issue. We need to know from unionised workplaces what is happening, good or bad. We want to know best practice that we can share. We also want to know if you are struggling and need help and advice.

As part of our Sheffield Needs a Pay Rise campaign, we are preparing a plan to take out to low paid vulnerable workers on insecure contracts/zero hours/bogus self-employment. Our Union Organiser Rohan Kon is working on this already. We need to know:

  • What the good employers are doing to show best practice
  • What the bad employers are doing so we can be prepared

Boris Johnson has been forced to waive the first 3 days’ non-payment of SSP for workers suffering from the virus or self-isolating but this is nowhere good enough. Whilst he seems prepared to use taxpayers’ money to shore up failing businesses, we say what about the workers? Many workers in the gig economy or on zero hours might not get SSP at all. Workers might lose their jobs and face the scandal of the 5-week wait for Universal Credit for instance. As Trade unionists, we really need to help each other in the coming weeks and months.

Please send as whatever concise information you can so that we can assess the responses and react accordingly. Please send by email to

Sheffield Trade Union Council is here to help workers and their trade unions during this very difficult time

Martin Mayer                                    Bob Jeffery

Secretary                                             President