STUC Update 31 March 2020

STUC Update 31 March 2020


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: 

At Monday’s media briefing, the First Minister announced £3.8m extra funding for NHS mental health support services.  She said that she had chaired a meeting of the Cabinet Sub-Committee on the Economy, which discussed how the Scottish Government can continue to do everything it can to help business.  As we enter the first weekend of lockdown, people are being reminded of the importance of staying at home to slow the spread of Coronavirus. Her full speech is available here.

The Economy Secretary Fiona Hyslop has urged public sector organisations to support their suppliers with new guidance published to help them do this.  

Regulations have been laid in the Scottish Parliament confirming a 100% rates relief for the retail, hospitality and leisure sectors along with aviation industries to support them during the COVID-19 outbreak.  Further details here. 

Businesses and the public in Scotland are now required by law to follow necessary social distancing measures. More information is available here.

Advice for businesses and their employees is available at

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

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


  • At its daily press conference the Scottish Government announced that Glasgow SEC will be turned into a field hospital, while breast, cervical and other screening programmes are to be paused.
  • 21,000 people have signed up to volunteer as part of the Scottish Government’s ‘Scotland Cares’ volunteer recruitment drive.
  • The Foreign Secretary, Dominic Rabb, announced a new arrangement with commercial airlines to fly British citizens back to the UK. Where commercial flights not available, the Government will put on special charter flights.
  • The STUC have published guidance on the UK Government’s self-employment income support scheme.

Scottish Government announcements

  • Glasgow SEC will be turned into a field hospital. 
  • Screening programmes for breast, cervical etc are to be paused. 
  • In response to a question that the Royal College of Physicians report 1 in 4 doctors self-isolating, the Chief Medical Officer said the Scottish Government predicted rate for worker sickness across the NHS is 17-20%.
  • ‘Scotland Cares’ volunteer recruitment drive launched, with 21,000 signing up so far today. The readyscotland.orgwebsite directs people into three routes – one for former health and social care workers who are directed into the NHS etc; one for people to join the Red Cross’s ‘community reserve volunteers’ supporting distribution of supplies etc; and one to join Volunteer Scotland’s database and be given information about local community organisations.
  • Emergency legislation in the Scottish Parliament will be tabled later this week. 

UK Government announcements

The Foreign Secretary, Dominic Rabb, who announced a new arrangement with commercial airlines to fly British citizens abroad back to the UK. The Government also pledged £75 million put on special charter flights, where commercial flights are not available.

  • Further 180 deaths of people in the UK diagnosed with coronavirus, bringing the total to 1,408.
  • The Chief Scientific Adviser has said the UK has seen a huge drop in travel and social contact but it is too early to see if this is having a positive impact in terms of hospital admissions. During the Q&A he admitted there was a lag in the hospital deaths data. ONS will be putting out non-hospital deaths data tomorrow, although the toll is not expected to be large.
  • On testing, the Director of Public Health England suggested that the 25,000 tests a day the Government say they are ‘ramping up to’ won’t be delivered until mid-to-late April.

Other announcements

  • The STUC have published guidance on the UK Government’s self-employment income support scheme.
  • Italian restaurant chain Carluccio's has gone into administration. Most of the company's 2,000 employees will be paid through the government's job retention scheme while the administrator explores options for the firm. BrightHouse, the rent-to-own household appliance shop, has also gone into administration, putting a further 2,400 jobs at risk.
  • PURE Spa workers have been dubbed the ‘Silverburn Suffragettes’ after they came together to successfully fight back against their boss trying to put them onto zero-hour contracts.
  • A former Supreme Court judge, Lord Sumption has criticised Derbyshire Police's approach to using drones to document the public going for walks as "a police state".
  • Amazon and Instacart workers in the USA are planning to strike over health and safety concerns.
  • The Autonomy Data Unit has published a ‘Jobs at Risk Index’ detailing which occupations are most at risk from Covid 19.

More from Scottish Trade Union Congress here


Related Stories

We have placed cookies on your device to help make this website better. Click to say I’m fine with this.OK

Facebook Twitter Email