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Scottish Parliament urged to back Labour MSP's safety at work Bill

UNIONS are making a last-ditch demand that the Scottish Parliament backs legislation which could change the lives of people injured at work.

Control of benefits to workers suffering work-related life-changing injuries or long-term illnesses have been devolved from Westminster to the Scottish Parliament.

Scottish Labour MSP Mark Griffin has submitted a Bill which would set up an employment injuries advisory council to identify the occupations and conditions which should benefit.

Workers affected by work-related injuries and illnesses would be represented on the council.

Those who could benefit include firefighters suffering work-related cancer, footballers suffering dementia and brain injuries and workers suffering the effects of Long Covid.

But the Scottish Parliament’s social justice and social security committee has declined to back the Bill.

The Scottish TUC annual congress meets in Dundee next week where it will demand that the Scottish government changes the decision.

STUC general secretary Roz Foyer said: “The Scottish government has a unique opportunity to build a welfare system fit for the 21st century with the voices of workers at its heart. 

“They must not let them down. By rejecting Mark Griffin’s Bill, they would be sending out the message that workers injured at their work and now in need of assistance from the state can be discarded or ignored. 

“We must provide justice and compassion to injured workers in their hour of need and the Scottish government can play their part. We would implore them to do so.” 

Mark Griffin said: “The devolution of employment injury benefits is a chance to deliver a system that is truly fit for purpose and trade unionists are right to demand that they are no longer ignored. I welcome their support. 

“Workers, including teachers and health professionals suffering from Long Covid, ex-footballers facing dementia, and firefighters battling cancers, demand inclusion in designing a fair and respectful injury benefit. 

“The clock is ticking, and the voices of workers must be heard.”

The social justice and social security committee said it “acknowledges the good and genuine intentions” of Mr Griffin’s Bill, but that “on balance, the committee is not able to support the general principles of the Bill.”


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