Coronavirus Northern Ireland: Impact of Coronavirus on businesses and workers “must be mitigated”

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Monday, March 16th, 2020

Sinn Fein MLA Cathal Boylan has said measures are required to mitigate the economic impact of the Coronavirus pandemic on businesses and workers.

The Newry and Armagh MLA said, “The Coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic is having, and will continue to have, far-reaching impacts on workers and businesses.



“It is vital as we respond to this public health emergency, that measures to support our businesses, and to protect and support workers, are put in place.”

He continued, “Over the past few days our Party Economic Spokesperson Caoimhe Archibald has written to the Economy Minister to highlight a number of important issues including the need for access to credit and financial support for businesses and the need for measures to alleviate the immediate intensive pressure on retailers as a result of panic bulk buying.

“It also includes that agency workers do not have contractual sick leave and have unequal access to sick allowances and the impact of the Coronavirus pandemic and medical advice on migrant workers.



“In addition, it includes the need for employers to ensure employees, particularly in shops, restaurants and other frontline services, have access to protective measures including sanitizer.

“Caoimhe has also received responses from a number of banks about measures they are putting in place including waiving fees for missed payments, payment holidays on loans/mortgages and emergency access to fixed-term savings.

“My party colleague the Minister for Communities Deirdre Hargey has taken steps to ensure that statutory sick pay and other benefits can be accessed straight away and without requiring a sick line from a GP.



“The Economy Minister must now bring forward comprehensive measures, including legislative changes if necessary, to support businesses, workers and the local economy.”2

The local MLA added, “It is also important to highlight that we all have a role to play in being personally responsible, there is absolutely no need to panic/bulk buy.

“While it should go without saying we must all be respectful toward those workers in shops and other outlets.”

Keep up to date with all the latest Northern Ireland Coronavirus / Covid-19 news HERE

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