Hotels providing accommodation for NHS staff, acting as Covid19 isolation centres or providing emergency housing during the crisis, are ‘risking lives’ by failing to implement adequate safety measures for staff, Unite warned today (Monday 20 April). 

Unite, which represents thousands of workers in the hospitality sector, is becoming increasingly concerned that the workers in these accommodation centres are not being given proper training and advice and are not being provided with the necessary personal protective equipment (PPE).

The union has received numerous reports from staff across the hotel industry concerned that they may be at risk of passing or receiving Covid19 from NHS front line staff or others staying in their hotels, due to unsafe and unmonitored practices.

Unite national officer for hospitality Dave Turnbull said: “Hotel workers, many of whom who are on the minimum wage, are being required to undertake new roles in a highly stressful environment without any proper safety guidelines.

“While some hotels are taking a responsible attitude and are trying to introduce guidance to protect staff, that is not true of them all. The hotel chains who have answered the call to provide emergency accommodation must understand that they are risking lives if the correct safety measures are not put in place. 

“Unite is working with the hospitality task force set up at the Department for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy but the government needs to do more.

“Unless strict guidelines are immediately introduced, followed and enforced then staff working in accommodation centres, as well as the NHS staff and others staying in them, are at direct risk of being exposed to coronavirus.

“Unite is demanding that the government steps in to introduce these measures and that hotel companies immediately ensure the safety of their staff undertaking these roles.”

ENDS

For more about Unite's work during the coronavirus crisis to keep workers and the public safe, and to protect jobs and incomes, click here.

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Email: ryan.fletcher@unitetheunion.org

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Unite is Britain and Ireland’s largest union with members working across all sectors of the economy. The general secretary is Len McCluskey.