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LONDON – Global unions have called on governments and occupational health and safety bodies to recognise COVID-19 as an occupational disease. Such recognition would, in theory, provide more protection for garment workers, many of whom – at present – are under pressure to return to their jobs despite working in close proximity to others and being unable to social distance.

Unions want to ensure better protection for workers by amending occupational disease systems to include a ‘rebuttable presumption’ that where a person’s job placed them at risk of exposure to SARS-CoV-2, COVID-19 should be recognised and compensated as a work-related disease.

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