25 May 2022

Impact of government Covid policies should be brought to public attention

The full impacts of the government’s Covid policies on disabled, black, LGBT+ people and women need to be brought to the public’s attention, conference agreed today (25). 

Delegates unanimously voted in favour of motion A21 which also called for the implementation and publication of equality impact assessments for Covid-related legislation. 

Moving the motion, Jackie Green of the NEC said: “In all equality strands, the data shows a greater risk of isolation, domestic violence, mental health issues and long-term effects of Covid and Long Covid. 

“It was clear just how far from a society of equals we are when our members needed simple effective protections and struggled to get them.”

She said PCS was asking employers to sign up to a pledge to do more for minority groups, and planned to name and shame those who don’t. 

She said: “Those under-represented groups have a voice and not just a voice, but a booming voice.”

Abe from DSg South Central branch spoke of two colleagues who had struggled during the pandemic. 

One was forced on to leave for eight months because the adjustments they needed were not available.

Another had been asked to produce a slideshow outlining the domestic violence she was suffering in order to request special leave so she could seek refuge. 

Saorsa from Bradford DWP branch supported the motion, but warned that the third point supporting the Equality Act could be used by the NEC to campaign to exclude trans people from single-sex spaces. 

The motion instructed the NEC to:

1. Bring evidence of the disproportionate impact of the government’s Covid policies on disabled people, black people, LGBT+ people and women to the attention of the Covid 19 public inquiry, 

2. Ensure the implementation and publication of equality impact assessments on all Covid related legislation. 

3.Campaign for the implementation of all provisions of the Equality Act 2010. 

4. Work to unite all those who campaign against discrimination and, to that end, promote respectful discussion around questions relating to all protected characteristics.