NIC-ICTU warmly welcomes Chancellors statement on Corona Virus Job retention scheme

20 Mar 2020

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Speaking after the Chancellors statement on 20th March 2020, Owen Reidy, Assistant General Secretary of the Irish Congress of Trade Unions said: “We very much welcome the Chancellor timely's statement that workers will not face large scale redundancies as a result of this COVID19 crisis and that the UK government is establishing, retrospectively to 1st March 2020, a job retention scheme that will support workers income to the tune of 80% of their pay up to a cap of £2,500. 

"This is an unprecedented action for an unprecedented crisis and will crucially maintain the employment contract of workers and ensure that when this crisis in over they remain employed. We have long promoted a wage subsidy scheme for this crisis and have outlined our position to all of the leaders of the political parties in Northern Ireland, including the Ministries in the relevant departments such as the Economy, Communities, Finance and of course the Executive Office. 

"We now look forward to working with the NI Executive and business representatives to implement this scheme in Northern Ireland without delay. 

"We would also ask that business that can afford to do so should pay the remaining 20% of pay for as many workers as possible, as this is crucial to keep society and the economy going. 

"The various trade union congresses across these islands, (the ICTU, the TUC, the WTUC and the STUC) have been clear at the outset that a wage subsidy programme to protect workers income is the best way out of this crisis. By this decision today that position has been vindicated.”