Major victory for workers rights as government drops protections bonfire

There really is power in a union.

Last week reports emerged that the government was considering a rollback of hard-won workplace protections, including the end to the 48-hour working week. Last week, Business Secretary Kwasi Kwarteng confirmed the consultation was going ahead.

Now the government announced those plans have been dropped.

We were very clear that these plans were wrong from the outset. At a time of deep economic anxiety when people across the country are concerned about their futures, the government should have been focused on securing jobs and livelihoods, not removing workplace rights.

This would not have happened without Community members, our fellow trade unions and everyone in the labour movement who took action to protect our rights. Together, we managed to have our voices heard and we’ve struck a major victory for the rights and protections of workers across the country.

In other positive news for workers, this week we had a meeting with Maria Eagle MP and Kwasi Kwarteng MP on our campaign for a Safer Justice Sector and the current challenges faced by our members in the justice sector. Stephen Kinnock MP spoke up for our self-employed members and asked a question for us in Parliament about the discrimination of self-employed mothers in the government’s financial support scheme.

This is great progress, but we need to keep looking forwards.

Our rights at work need to be strengthened. We need an end to predatory tactics, such as “fire and rehire”. We need restrictions on the use of technology to monitor employees, with workers put at the centre of any changes to their conditions.

We also need Covid-19 financial support to be extended to everyone who needs it. That’s why we wrote to Chancellor Rishi Sunak urging him to support the self-employed and other excluded groups who have received no support for almost 12 months. Nearly three million people are currently being left without support, and we’re still waiting for answers.

We’ve secured an important victory this week. We cannot have a rollback of our hard-won workplace protections. Not now, not ever.

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