Retail workers feeling pressure to work extra hours, struggling with childcare

Retail workers feeling pressure to work extra hours, struggling with childcare

Retail workers say they are feeling the pressure to work extra hours during the pandemic and have trouble getting childcare while they do it.

Trade Union Mandate is polling members on working conditions and has already received over 1,000 responses.

Gerry Light, assistant general secretary of Mandate, says they will be raising the question with employers and the government in the next week.

Mr Light said that Mandate's members who are working to provide essential services are struggling to find childcare as schools and creches remain closed and where people may have relied on parents or other family members to look after children, they can no longer depend on that.

He said that staff are feeling extra pressure now to work longer hours.

"There are only so many hours any individual worker can make themselves available for."

Meanwhile, Retail Ireland is calling on the Government to take steps to help retailers after the coronavirus pandemic.

It says there is serious concern that after this crisis, many of the shops that are closed now will not be able to reopen.

It says shop owners have made enormous efforts to ensure that stores are equipped to deal with new coronavirus restrictions.

Stores have increased the frequency of cleaning of trolleys and baskets and chip and pin terminals and have installed perspex screens.

Director of Retail Ireland, Arnold Dillon says that while the demand has increased in the grocery sector, the vast majority of retail outlets are closed.

"There is really very serious concern that after this crisis many of those shops will not be in a financial position to reopen."

Mr Dillon said that Covid-19 has been a devastating blow for shops which have been forced to close.

"There's an urgent need now from central government to put in place the funding for local authorities so that we can have relief when it comes to commercial rates," said Mr Dillon.

"But also the issue of rent is becoming a significant challenge and I think a binding mandatory arbitration process is now needed to be put in place to try and manage some of the disputes between tenants and landlords that are likely to emerge over the coming months."

    The latest restrictions in operation since Friday, March 27 mandate that everyone should stay at home, only leaving to:
  • Shop for essential food and household goods;
  • Attend medical appointments, collect medicine or other health products;
  • Care for children, older people or other vulnerable people - this excludes social family visits;
  • Exercise outdoors - within 2kms of your home and only with members of your own household, keeping 2 metres distance between you and other people
  • Travel to work if you provide an essential service - be sure to practice social distancing

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