Full sick and self-isolation pay for all workers! Open letter to the Prime Minister
Dear Prime Minister,
A huge number of key workers are agency staff or on zero-hour contracts or similar, with no ordinary rights to paid leave.
At best, those workers will be eligible for Statutory Sick Pay (£95.85 a week), less than a third of the take home pay of a minimum wage worker. If these workers, or a member of their household develop Coronavirus symptoms, or they are told to isolate by Track and Trace, then many will not be able to afford to follow public health advice and will continue to attend work.
On 2.3.20 NHS England wrote to NHS chief executives instructing them “ensure that any member of staff, including bank staff and subcontractors, who has to be physically present at an NHS facility to carry out their duties, receives full pay for any period in which they are required to self-isolate.” On 27.3.20 the Department for Health and Social Care suggested this measure was “essential” for “infection control”
The same is true for workers in all industries and workplaces. Any serious attempt to slow the spread of the virus must rely on all workers, from outsourced cleaners in the NHS to supermarket staff and postal and delivery workers, being free to follow public health advice without suffering any financial detriment.
We demand emergency legislation guaranteeing full sick and self-isolation pay for all, regardless of contract or employment status.