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The statutory right of health and safety representatives to facilities release time is essential and must be protected, the NASUWT-The Teachers’ Union has told TUC Congress.

The NASUWT motion adopted by the TUC Congress highlights the importance of having trained health and safety representatives in reviewing COVID-19 risk assessments and ensuring workplace safety.

The NASUWT together with the wider trade union movement confirms the need to increase the number of health and safety representatives across all workplaces.

Dr Patrick Roach, General Secretary of the NASUWT – The Teachers’ Union, said:

“Workers, especially frontline workers, the lower paid and agency staff have borne the brunt of the Coronavirus crisis. They have been exposed to weakened protections and exploitative employer practices, and to a lack of effective regulation.

“Instead of obstacles and derision, governments need to recognise and take seriously that workplace safety is central to the provision of high quality services and to keeping the economy going throughout this crisis and beyond.

“The public has already recognised the importance of trade unions in ensuring safer services and workplaces for their loved ones.

“A stronger voice for the Health and Safety Executive is also essential, coupled with action to ensure that trade union Health and Safety Representatives are able to undertake the everyday vital work they do to ensure that safety standards are in place and being implemented.”

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