Labour wants the government to change its Coronavirus guidance to end the internal reading of electric and gas meters during lockdown.
The party claims that in the first lockdown, meter readers were largely furloughed and their work considered non-essential as estimates could be used temporarily by utility companies.
However, internal meter readings have continued throughout this current lockdown, which Labour says means readers are put into dangerous and potentially unlawful conditions.
“Meter reading has continued even in areas being tested for new variants, before the same readers were sent elsewhere for work. The work also continued across Tiers when the Tier system was in place” says a party statement.
Andy McDonald MP, Labour’s shadow employment rights secretary, says: “It is shocking that the government has encouraged meter reading to continue through this lockdown, allowing workers to be sent to and from areas testing for new variants and between Tiers while visiting up to 200 homes a day.
“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.”
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