Workers' Weekly On-Line
Volume 50 Number 17, May 2, 2020 ARCHIVE HOME JBCENTRE SUBSCRIBE

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Employment Rights After Coronavirus

The coronavirus pandemic has brought to the fore that it is working people themselves who fight to defend their rights and the rights of all. At the same time, they demand that their rights be guaranteed in law. The emphasis is being put by government and big business on getting back to "business as usual", and putting the demands of the economy above life and well-being. But this itself begs the question of what kind of economy is needed, what is its aim and direction, and who decides. It is certain that in this climate the workers will have to take a stand against the anti-social offensive and for their rights. The TUC in this context is this week releasing a series of interviews on Employment rights after coronavirus. Speaking of this initiative, Unite assistant general secretary Tony Burke remarked: "we can expect there will be demands from employers for 'more flexibility' or attempts to weaken the already weak employment laws. European and global trade unions are anticipating a push by employers to role back employment rights in response to a weakened economy."

The interviews are as follows:

Monday, May 4: Michael Ford QC will talk about the employment law fall out from coronavirus;

Tuesday, May 5: Dee Masters and Robin Allen QC of Cloisters about technology at work after coronavirus;

Wednesday, May 6: An interview with Dr Alessio Bertolini of the Oxford Internet Institute on platform work after coronavirus;

Thursday, May 7: Professor Melanie Simms will discuss the longer-run impact on labour markets and the issues facing trade unions.

Each video will last between 10-15 minutes and will be done in interview style.

The TUC will be providing links to these interviews which will be tweeted out. Tim Sharp, Senior Employment Rights Officer at the TUC, says: "During the coronavirus pandemic unions have fought hard to protect workers jobs and incomes and to ensure their rights are respected at this difficult time. But we need to ensure that when the shutdown is lifted and more people return to work outside the home that we are alert to the tasks ahead. These interviews explore the various challenges workers will face whether it is to their legal rights or the impact of new technology to put them in a better position to defend and extend their rights at work."


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