Blair calls for special social distancing workplace helpline to be established

Alliance MLA John Blair has called for a special helpline to be established for people to report concerns over lack of social distancing in the workplace during the COVID-19 pandemic.

Mr Blair said he and Alliance colleagues had been inundated with contact from constituents worried several companies are still operating without proper social distancing guidelines being observed and followed.

The South Antrim MLA has now contacted Economy Minister Diane Dodds to ask whether a helpline can be established during the coronavirus pandemic.

“The scientific advice is to practice social distancing as much as possible. While some people are able to work from home and therefore this isn’t as much of an issue, many are still having to go to their place of work throughout this outbreak.

“Unfortunately, judging by the amount of contact my colleagues and I have received from constituents worried their employers are not adhering to the strict social distancing guidelines. Certainly, some factories, warehouses, retail outlets and other businesses across my South Antrim constituency are contravening this, and this is not unique to my area.

“While most staff want to work to support colleagues and employers, they are finding the lack of adherence to social distancing extremely worrying. Therefore a workplace COVID-19 helpline where they could report their concerns and receive assistance on this matter is paramount to not only allaying worries but possibly also saving lives.”