Latest STUC Update

Latest STUC Update


As the Scottish Government’s focus on the economic impact of Covid-19 continues, the STUC will be providing regular bulletins to signpost you to the latest sources of information.


From our colleagues at the STUC: 

  • As the Scottish Government’s focus on the economic impact of Covid-19 continues, we will be providing regular bulletins to signpost you to the latest sources of information. We hope that you will find this useful and share with your networks where appropriate.

  • At Tuesday’s media briefing, the First Minister provided further detail on NHS Scotland’s Test and Protect programme, Scotland’s approach to implementing the 'test, trace, isolate, support' strategy.

  • In her statement she announced that the Scottish Government has published guidance for employers, making clear they should support anyone who is asked to self-isolate by Test and Protect, as well as general advice for anyone who is asked to self-isolate.

  • You can read her full statement here.

  • In Parliament today Transport Secretary Michael Matheson set out the Transport Transition Planguidance for operators and guidance on how to travel safely. You can watch his full statement here.

  • New guidance has been published for retailers and manufacturers to consider how people can safely return to work, as well as guidance for customers. The Scottish Government, Police Scotland, Health and Safety Executive and local authorities have also published a joint statement on safe workplaces. You can watch the Economy Secretary’s statement to Parliament here.

  • The Deputy First Minister provided additional information on the reopening of schools.

  • Small businesses and employers across the UK who have paid statutory sick pay to staff taking coronavirus-related leave will be able to claim back the money through a UK Government scheme from today.

  • Advice for businesses and their employees is available at

  • There is an HMRC helpline for tax issues at 0800 015 9559.

  • The NHS Inform coronavirus webpage is the fastest way for people to get the latest health advice and information.

  • Guidance for businesses looking to offer support for the ongoing effort to tackle the Covid-19 emergency can be found here.

Scottish Government announcements

  • A total of 103,508 people in Scotland have been tested through NHS labs to date. Of these:
  • 88,352 were confirmed negative
    • 5,156 were positive
    • 3,572 inpatients have been discharged from hospital since 5th March
    • 849 were in hospital last night: 29 of whom were in intensive care, with another 11 with suspected COVID-19 in intensive care
    • 2,273 have died
    • But the total including suspected deaths is just over 3700.
  • The first phase of the Scottish Government’s four-part plan to ease lockdown restrictions is likely to begin on Friday. The First Minister said a “clear decision” would be made on whether the country is ready to start lifting some of the curbs on daily life that were introduced in March.
  • On Tuesday 26th May, plans will be revealed for reinstating limited use of public transport.
    • The First Minister will publish the Transport Transition Plan which is due to be launched at Tuesday's daily coronavirus briefing.
  • It will also announce an acceleration of the test, trace, isolate strategy. It has there will be 2,000 contact tracers will be available by the end of the month, but does not believe all of them will be needed immediately.
  • The Health Secretary has announced extra financial support for social care workers in Scotland during the Coronavirus emergency. The Scottish Government has stepped in to provide additional funding to ensure all social care workers receive enhanced sick pay where they have received a positive COVID-19 test. Where any social care worker dies without death in service cover in their contracted pension arrangements, the Scottish Government also plans to provide a one-off payment of £60,000 to a named survivor. 
  • The First Minister has admitted that older people may have died as a result of the government’s decision to discharge them from hospitals into care homes as it readied the NHS for coronavirus patients.  The First Minister said that the decision to clear beds for an influx of Covid-19 patients had been right to protect older people who did not need to be in hospital for medical reasons, from catching the virus.  However, during her daily briefing in Edinburgh. Ms Sturgeon said that with the benefit of hindsight she may have come to different decisions about “a range of things” in response to Covid-19.

UK Government announcements

  • 3,532,634 tests for coronavirus have now been carried out in the UK, including 73,726 tests carried out on Sunday 24th May. 261,184 people have tested positive,  an increase of 1,625 cases the previous day. 8,834 people were in hospital with COVID-19 in the UK, down (12%) from 10,092 this time last week.
  • Thousands of high street shops, department stores and shopping centres across England are set to reopen next month once they are COVID-19 secure. Outdoor markets and car showrooms will be able to reopen from 1 June, as soon as they are able to meet the COVID-19 secure guidelines to protect shoppers and workers. 
  • All other non-essential retail including shops selling clothes, shoes, toys, furniture, books, and electronics, plus tailors, auction houses, photography studios, and indoor markets, will be expected to be able to reopen from 15 June if the Government’s five tests are met and they follow the COVID-19 secure guidelines.

Other News

  • Across the UK, there has been a dramatic shift in the public’s perception of care workers as a result of the coronavirus crisis, with most people believing they should be better paid and better valued, according to a survey. The poll, which was published on Tuesday by the gender equality campaigning charity the Fawcett Society, found 65% of respondents supported an increase in income tax to fund a pay rise for care workers, a figure that rose to 68% among Conservative voters polled. According to the Savanta ComRes poll, 48% of respondents did not think the government sufficiently prioritised care homes at the beginning of the pandemic, while 26% believed it did.
  • A survey of 1,006 adults conducted by Ipsos Mori between 14 and 20 May - suggested Scots think Ms Sturgeon and the Scottish government have done a better job of handling the pandemic than Mr Johnson and the UK government. A total of 82% of respondents said Ms Sturgeon had handled the outbreak "fairly" or "very" well, to 8% "fairly" or "very" badly, giving her a net approval rating of +74. The Scottish government's score was +67.
  • Countries where coronavirus infections are declining could still face an “immediate second peak” if they let up too soon on measures to halt the outbreak, the World Health Organization said on Monday. The world is still in the middle of the first wave of the coronavirus outbreak, WHO emergencies head Dr Mike Ryan told an online briefing, noting that while cases are declining in many countries they are still increasing in Central and South America, South Asia and Africa, Reuters reports.

More from Scottish Trade Union Congress here


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