Head Office Circular NP/107/21
Our Ref: HSR/1/3
7th April 2021
ALL REGIONAL COUNCILS
I write in connection with the following resolution which I have received from North West & North Wales RMT Regional Council:
Conservative estimates suggest around 10% of those infected with Covid-19 will develop long Covid. Given that the UK has one of the highest rates of Covid infection in the world, which continues to rise, hundreds of thousands of individuals and families will continue to live with the damaging effects of long Covid for months or even years to come.
Many of those who have developed long Covid contracted the virus while working to protect others during this pandemic. This is why we are calling on the RMT to challenge employers in the industries that we represent workers, to recognise long Covid as an occupational disease and set up policies that will protect employment, ensure occupational health schemes attend to the needs of people suffering from Long Covid and also secure a duty of care for our Members who are affected by this issue.
Our Union needs to set the agenda around long Covid as it will become a big issue in our workplaces and communities for many months and possibly years to come. As a Union we cannot afford to sit back and let employers use long Covid as an excuse to possibly manage our member’s out of the industries they work in, simply for having to work on the frontline during a worldwide pandemic.
This resolution calls on our NEC to debate this item with a view to developing a national policy on long Covid. Hopefully then any such national policy can be used to challenge the Industries and employers our members work in and help to protect our members in the future.
At its meeting on 1st April 2021 your National Executive Committee (NEC) noted and adopted the following report of its Health and Safety sub-committee:
We note the resolution from the North West & North Wales Regional Council.
The General Secretary is instructed to write to Lead Officers, seeking facts and figures about long Covid. The General Secretary is further instructed to write to the TUC asking what has been done on long Covid and if a study on its impact could be commissioned and to the National Institute for Clinical Excellence (NICE) requesting an authoritative definition of long Covid.
Any reports to be placed back in front of this NEC.
Branches and Regional Councils to be advised.
I am acting in accordance with these instructions and will keep you advised of developments.