Wales to introduce 2-metre coronavirus law to protect workers
Employers will be asked to take ‘all reasonable actions’ to comply with new legislation
The Welsh first minister, Mark Drakeford, said that employers ‘must put the needs of their workforce first.’
Employers in Wales will be breaking the law from next week if they do not make sure that staff are able to maintain the 2-metre physical distancing rule.
Mark Drakeford, made it clear he did not want companies to be shut down but said it was vital that they put the welfare of their employees first.
Employees across the UK in workplaces including call centres, factories and building sites have expressed concern that they are unable to stay a safe distance from colleagues.
Drakeford said the Welsh government had listened to workers’ fears and would be the first in the UK to bring in a new law requiring employers to take “all reasonable actions” to comply with the 2-metre rule.
The first minister said the regulations would come into force on Monday or Tuesday next week and fresh guidance would be issued to make sure that employers understood what was being expected of them.
He said: “It is simply saying to employers they must put the needs of their workforce first. Their health and well-being must be top of the agenda.
“We’ve heard the messages coming from some people saying they are fearful at the way their health is being compromised in the workplace.”
The GMB union welcomed the move and called on the UK government to follow suit.
Dan Shears, GMB health, safety and environment director, said many employers had so far ignored the rule. “Those companies will now need to fall into line or fear the consequences.”
Richard Buxton comments “It just goes to show that laws can be introduced very quickly and we all need to try to keep up to speed. Will UK Government try to follow suit? ”