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Chancellor's job support scheme extension fails to address the knock-on effect on retail says Usdaw

Date: 09 October 2020 Retail trade union Usdaw is concerned that today’s announcement by the Chancellor to extend the Job Support Scheme doesn’t help retail stores that remain open. On a day when statistics show footfall reduced last month, Usdaw is concerned that closing the hospitality sector will inevitably have a devastating impact on an already struggling retail industry.
Shop workers’ trade union leader Paddy Lillis calls on the Government to urgently rectify the gaps in support which are leaving retail workers’ jobs under extreme threat. Support must be targeted at all of the sectors and jobs that need it the most to prevent mass job losses across the UK economy.
Paddy Lillis – Usdaw General Secretary says: “We are concerned that this expansion of the job support scheme will be of no help to the retail businesses who continue to struggle in this crisis even while they are allowed to stay open.
“In local lockdown areas where hospitality is closed, it will have a serious knock on effect on the high street, and even though we expect that shops will be allowed to stay open they will be suffering even more from reduced footfall. Where is the support for those businesses?
“Neither this or the previously announced Job Support Scheme, which allows reduced hours to be topped up by employers and the government, goes anywhere near far enough to save jobs and prevent redundancies in sectors and businesses that are struggling to survive, such as non-food retail.
“The Job Support Scheme should be extended to cover all businesses that are suffering in this crisis, whether or not they are required to close. We can’t allow thousands of retail jobs to fall between the cracks of the Job Support Scheme.
“Many of the jobs that will be lost are with businesses which were viable prior to the pandemic and will be viable again in the long-term provided the right support is in place over the medium term. Those businesses are a key part of the UK economy and they need interim support to cope with the restrictions that the Government has imposed on them.”
Notes for editors:
Usdaw (Union of Shop, Distributive and Allied Workers) is the UK's fifth biggest trade union with over 400,000 members. Membership has increased by more than one-third over the last couple of decades. Most Usdaw members work in the retail sector, but the union also has many members in transport, distribution, food manufacturing, chemicals and other trades.
For Usdaw press releases visit: http://www.usdaw.org.uk/news and you can follow us on Twitter @UsdawUnion

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The official website of the Union of Shop, Distributive and Allied Workers