Stormont must ensure Covid protections extend to Hospitality workers

Unite the union calls for clarity on any hospitality shutdown, mandates for social distancing and face coverings, and a support package providing 100 percent furlough and 100 percent sick pay

Stormont Executive must end its close association with hospitality bosses as they do not reflect the interests of workers

With Stormont set to debate its response to surging Covid transmission there is mounting speculation that a shutdown of the hospitality sector may be imposed in the immediate aftermath of Christmas.

Unite members in the sector set out their demands including clarity on the timing of any lockdown, the extension of basic health and safety measures to hospitality workplaces and employment support packages to ensure that workers do not pay the price for any lockdown.

Unite Regional Officer Neil Moore called on Stormont to provide clarification on its plans and to roll-out the necessary protections.

“Hospitality workers need clarity from Stormont. They have been left wondering whether their sector will be forced to close and whether they will have any income in the next week. While we see one billion pounds committed to the hospitality bosses – we are seeing nothing for workers. In fact, with the average 4 star hotel employing 120 workers, this would see just £50 support per employee. There are real fears among workers that they will be expected to pay the price for any shutdown. This is completely unacceptable.

“Stormont Ministers need to end their close association with the Hospitality bosses – they do not represent the interests of workers. Alongside clarity on the timing of any shutdown we need to see immediate action to impose basic health and safety protections – including social-distancing and mask mandates – as well as a commitment for 100 percent furlough and 100 percent sick pay for workers’ affected. Hospitality workers are calling time on Stormont’s political failure.”

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