< News

14.07.2020 / News / Press releases / /

Ministry of Justice to face Judicial Review over lack of face masks links to death of outsourced cleaner


Ministry of Justice to face Judicial Review over lack of face masks links to death of outsourced cleaner

  • Trade union United Voices of the World to bring a judicial review against the government’s failure to mandate the provision of face masks in workplaces citing Article 2 of the European convention of Human Rights – the Right to Life.
  • The outcome could force millions of employers to provide their workers with face masks.
  • The decision to bring this judicial review was prompted by the death of a cleaner at the Ministry of Justice
  • United Voices of the World is contemplating a separate judicial review against the Health and Safety Executive over its failure to enforce the use of face masks at the Ministry of Justice. 

Trade union United Voices of the World (UVW) has announced today that it will bring a Judicial Review against the Ministry of Justice (MoJ) over the government department’s refusal to provide outsourced cleaners and security guards with face masks.

The announcement was made shortly after the government committed to making the use of face masks mandatory in shops across England by the 24th of July. The announcement has also come after weeks of intense public scrutiny which has seen the MoJ roundly criticised over the death of cleaner Emanuel Gomes and Labour Party MP and Shadow Secretary of State for Justice David Lammy MP call for an official investigation into the affair.

The government announcement of the mandatory use of face masks in shops across England marks the second time that the government has mandated the use of facemasks during the pandemic, with the mandatory use of face masks on public transport in England having come into force on the 15th of June.

Petros Elia, a UVW Organiser, said the following: “The government has been negligent and reckless in not mandating all employers to provide employees with face masks months ago. There has long been established  scientific evidence from international bodies – such as the World Health Organisation and European Centre for Disease and Control Prevention – that the use of face masks reduces the risk of Covid-19 transmission. And the government has acknowledged this by making face masks mandatory on transport and in shops. And if face masks are needed on transport and in shops then then must also be needed in workplaces too, This case will rely upon a tonne of scientific evidence, health and safety law and the European Convention of Human Rights, specifically Article 2, the Right to Life. 


For more information contact:

Petros Elia email. 07884 553443

Kane Shaw email. 07950 927798



Celebrating 10 years of class struggle!


UVW migrant seasonal worker could be a victim of human trafficking and modern slavery, Home Office finds in preliminary decision

16.01.2024 /

Harrods’ hospitality workers ready to strike for third time if 2024 pay promise not kept

20.12.2023 /

“They don’t treat us cleaners like human beings, they treat us like rats”: Cleaners at the Department of Education poised to strike for a living wage


20 new UVW reps certified after course


A Xmas bonus: UVW cleaner members force exclusive Hurlingham Club to sack bullying manager and give them a pay rise!


Stay up to date with our latest news, campaigns, trainings and events