PEOPLE should be able to refuse to return to work if they believe the conditions are unsafe, the convenor of a Green group has argued.

The Prime Minister should not have urged construction staff and more to return to their workplaces if they are not fit for purpose during the coronavirus pandemic, Councillor Phelim Mac Cafferty of the Brighton and Hove Green group said.

Instead, the city’s Green group is urging people to disregard the Government’s latest Stay Alert motto and continue to follow the initial Stay Home slogan.

Cllr Mac Cafferty said: “In a garbled recorded message, the Prime Minister said, ‘those in construction or manufacturing, should be actively encouraged to go to work’. Greens are clear that, like the devolved governments in Scotland, Wales and Northern Ireland, we do not think there are any enough clear signs that it is safe for workers to return to work in the city. We are very worried that the Prime Minister’s statement will act as nothing other than a charter for more workers to die and contract Covid-19.”

“As we have done since the start of the pandemic, we will continue to push for the strongest measures to protect workers and PPE for all workers who require it.”

He continued: “The law is very clear that where there is real risk of “serious and imminent danger” workers have the right to refuse to return to work in unsafe conditions. We are very clear that Greens will support workers who refuse to work in unsafe conditions. With the appalling absence of national leadership, and the dangerous mixed messages, we are advising residents of Brighton and Hove to continue to stay at home.”

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