May 19, 2020 Blog

SNP and Tories join forces to vote down collective bargaining and tenants’ fund

Social care residents and staff, renters and the unemployed have been let down by the Scottish Government, after key amendments to emergency coronavirus legislation were rejected today.

Scottish Labour tabled a number of proposals to improve the Coronavirus (Scotland) (No. 2) Bill, but only three were carried forward by MSPs today.

Thanks to those suggestions, the Care Inspectorate will be required to update parliament every two weeks about the inspections carried out in Scottish care homes, and the findings of those inspections. Those who provide care home services will also have to update the Inspectorate every day about deaths in their facilities – whether they are suspected to be related to Covid-19 or not.

However, other proposals Scottish Labour put forward to support the social care sector, including establishing a national strategy for collective bargaining for private care home staff and an improved pay and conditions package for workers across the board, were rejected.


Scottish Labour’s health spokesperson Monica Lennon, who is Deputy Convener of the government’s Covid-19 Committee, said:
“Our social care sector is bearing the brunt of this pandemic and the Scottish Government should be doing everything it can to not only make sure residential homes are safe, but also that staff are properly supported.

“It is vital that we look after frontline workers so that they can safely care for vulnerable people.

“Scottish Labour will continue to do everything we can to make sure every worker getting us through this crisis has that support.”

Despite a lack of support from the SNP a proposal by Scottish Labour’s Neil Findlay was accepted by all opposition parties, and will mean the Scottish Government must report on its response to Freedom of Information requests.

Other amendments tabled by Scottish Labour to be included in the updated emergency coronavirus legislation were free bus travel for job seekers and the unemployed throughout the duration of the crisis, and the creation of a tenants hardship fund and rent freezes for those struggling financially.

Both the SNP and the Scottish Conservatives have already backed financial support for landlords, AirBnB owners, and private schools, despite rejecting these Scottish Labour amendments today (May 19).