Motion 41 and amendments
Congress asserts the Covid-19 pandemic demonstrated the key role that regulators such as the HSE and EHRC should have in ensuring that all workers are treated fairly and are safe at work.
Congress further asserts that regulations are pointless without enforcement. It is concerned that government funding of the HSE has been cut in real terms by 60 per cent since 2009/10.
Congress is alarmed by the actions of key regulatory bodies throughout the Covid-19 pandemic, which impacted adversely on the health, safety and fair treatment of many frontline workers. The HSE was forced to recruit retired and outsourced inspectors to deliver Covid-19 spot-checks using short-term funding.
Congress condemns the cuts to the budgets of regulatory bodies over the last decade which has left them ill-equipped to protect workers and the public.
Congress is appalled by the lack of prosecutions taken against employers despite thousands of deaths of frontline workers.
Congress agrees that ensuring adequate regulations, inspection and enforcement must be a key priority to ensure that all workplaces are safe for all.
Congress applauds the sterling work undertaken by health and safety and equality representatives during the pandemic.
Congress calls on the General Council to:
i. campaign for and lobby the government to increase the budgets of the HSE and EHRC substantially and to boost the numbers of inspectors on the ground to deliver effective enforcement, policy-making and scientific decision-making
ii. campaign for and lobby the government to ensure that local authorities and fire authorities/boards are also adequately funded to carry out their statutory duties
iii. highlight regulatory failings in the forthcoming Covid-19 independent public inquiry.
Supporter: Fire Brigades Union