Contracting coronavirus while at work should be treated as an industrial injury, a Scottish Labour MSP has said.
Mark Griffin wants to reform employment protections in response to the pandemic.
The Central Scotland MSP is proposing a Member’s Bill calling for Covid-19 infections in the workplace to be classed as an industrial illness, and he cited 1,345 employers’ reports to the Health and Safety Executive of staff contracting the virus as of December 12.
However, both Scotland’s chief medical officer and national clinical director have repeatedly stressed the extreme difficulty of identifying how and where a person contracted the virus.
Mr Griffin’s proposals would also see the creation of a Scottish employment injuries advisory council and measures to tackle the gender gap of people seeking support.
He said: “Reform of our industrial injuries support system was long overdue before the pandemic, but the scale of the damage done by Covid-19 has made that reform a matter of urgency.
“Coronavirus has ripped through workplaces across Scotland, exposing thousands to the virus and tragically leading to deaths. These numbers are just the tip of the iceberg.
“With Covid-19 not currently recognised as an industrial illness, thousands of workers are going without the support and assistance they both need and deserve.
“Providing support for affected workers and making workplaces safe from Covid-19 cannot be left to the whims of employers.
“The Scottish Government must get to grips with the realities of the pandemic and classify Covid-19 as a workplace illness as part of a restructuring of our industrial injuries support scheme.”
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