Better support for businesses and workers essential amid coronavirus (COVID-19)

Better support for businesses and workers essential amid coronavirus (COVID-19)

The Chair of the Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy Committee, Darren Jones, has written a letter to the Secretary of State for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy, Alok Sharma, concerning some key issues, which emerged from the inquiry into the impact of coronavirus (COVID-19) on businesses and workers, of the government’s approach to supporting such organisations and individuals during the coronavirus recovery. The problems identified include gaps in support for workers who are excluded for the Coronavirus Job Retention Scheme or the Self-employment Income Support Scheme, the tapering of the support for those are eligible, treatment of workers and health and safety concerns in the workplace, ability of businesses to access pipeline loans, unpaid business rent, bad corporate behaviour, and profiteering.

The recommendations mentioned in the letter include the review of:

• the status of workers and their categorisation by HM Revenue and Customs to ensure they are not excluded from receiving support in the future

• the protections available to workers to ensure they are not forced to work in unsafe workplaces or treated unfairly

• how pregnant women and women on maternity leave have been treated during the pandemic

• the success of loan schemes and behaviour of banks in supporting businesses

• the access to funding by small businesses

• businesses which are acutely suffering due to social distancing and other health and safety measures and provide additional funding

• the enforcement powers to claw back support or reject future support for companies who have acted in bad faith

• the powers of the Competition and Markets Authority to address bad business practices and enforce consumer law

The full letter is available here.

Source: Chair calls on Government to learn lessons from gaps in worker and business support

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