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Labour calls for an urgent end to meter readings during lockdown

LABOUR has swung behind union demands to end “irresponsible” energy meter readings during the Covid-19 lockdown.

Most meter-readers were furloughed during the first lockdown, their work considered non-essential.

But changes to government guidance since then have allowed energy companies to continue sending workers into people’s homes throughout the current restrictions – even in areas being tested for new variants of coronavirus.

Shadow employment rights secretary Andy McDonald said that it was “shocking” that the government had encouraged the practice to continue through the lockdown, and to allow workers to operate between tiers while visiting up to 200 homes a day.

He said: “This irresponsible practice of risking the health and lives of meter-readers and the wider public is completely at odds with public health objectives.

“The government must urgently remove meter-reading from the guidance on work that can continue in homes during lockdown, instructing this activity to stop.”

Union calls to have the practice stopped have so far fallen on deaf ears, despite clear evidence of the threat to workers and households alike.

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