COVID-19: protecting health at work

The COVID-19 pandemic is bringing the issue of safety at work centre-stage.

Workers and trade unions across many different sectors are now taking action to try to ensure they stay as safe as possible throughout the pandemic. Employees at non-essential workplaces, like construction sites, are demanding their workplaces shut down and make use of the government furlough scheme, while key workers in hospitals, care homes, transport and elsewhere have taken action for adequate PPE, safe staffing, and other measures to minimise risks to staff, their families. Employees have a legal right, under Section 44 of the Employment Rights Act 1996, to refuse to work in circumstances which they reasonably believe to be "harmful or potentially harmful to health and safety".

Click below to find out about organising for safety in any of the four sectors below: health and care (including support staff such as cleaners and porters); education; transport; and others (including construction, postal services, and cleaners and facilities workers outside the health sector).

If you’re a worker who is not in a trade union, press the button beneath to go to the Trades Union Congress website, where you can find a union to join. Retired or unemployed people can join Unite Community.