COVID-19 and Labour Law: United Kingdom

Tonia Novitz


The UK Government provided a tardy response to the coronavirus pandemic, whichwould seem to have led to widespread community transmission and a high death toll.The measures taken in relation to the labour market were disappointing, being predominantly concerned with protecting business, while limited assistance was provided to the most vulnerable, precarious workers. Jobs have been preserved by such measures, but it is unclear what will happen as the Government schemes are phased out. Crucial issues relating to health and safety at work have been downplayed during the crisis, racial concerns have emerged and gender-related inequalities are being given little attention by the Government. The Trades Union Congress (TUC) has engaged with the Government on policy matters, resulting in some significant alterations to measures taken. Unions have also been prominent in discussions regarding the terms of return to work. This report was originally submitted on 10 April and has now been updated, being accurate up to 7 June 2020.


Covid-19; Labour Law; Statutory sick pay; Unemployment benefits; Job retention scheme; Health and Safety; Gender-related issues

DOI: 10.6092/issn.1561-8048/10808


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