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22 September, 2020 Open access

System of targeted wage support needed to protect jobs that are essential for recovery, says Shadow Chancellor

Speaking to the Labour Party conference, Anneliese Dodds outlines Labour's proposed Job Recovery Scheme

A system of targeted wage support is needed to protect those jobs that are essential for recovery, the Shadow Chancellor Anneliese Dodds has said.

In a speech to the 'Labour Connected' virtual party conference yesterday, Ms Dodds highlighted that almost 700,000 jobs have been lost since the start of the coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic and called on the government to bring in a system of targeted wage support to replace its Job Retention Scheme.

Outlining Labour's proposals, the Shadow Chancellor said - 

'Our Job Recovery Scheme would enable businesses in key sectors to bring staff back to work, on reduced hours, with government backing wages for the rest of the week. The scheme would incentivise targeted businesses to bring back more workers part-time, instead of bringing some back full time and letting others go.

Businesses would also be incentivised to offer their staff high-quality training, with an increase in support where staff undertake courses to help them prepare for the future. Unlike the Conservatives’ schemes, it wouldn’t involve a blank cheque.

Support would go to businesses signing up to treat their workers decently, meet net-zero obligations and pause dividend payments for the duration of the scheme.

Government would work with businesses and trades unions to identify sectors hardest hit by the crisis and most critical for our economic future – and secure those jobs.'

A transcript of Ms Dodds' speech is available from labour.org.uk