UK sick pay/health and safety regulations found to breach international labour law

Submitted by sglenister on Thu, 25/01/2018 - 15:13

25 January 2018

Statutory sick pay and health and safety regulations in the UK are in breach of the European Social Charter.

These are the findings of the latest report from the European Committee of Social Rights (ECSR), part of the Council of Europe, which oversees the compliance of 47 signatories with a set of legally binding human rights standards that were ratified by the UK in 1962.

Statutory sick pay is "manifestly inadequate" the report said, while recent Tory legislation to exempt the self-employed from a raft of health and safety regulations has created a "discriminatory" system.

"All workers, including the self-employed, must be covered by health and safety at work regulations as long as employed and self-employed workers are normally exposed to the same risks," the ESCR said.

Outside of employment law concerns, the Committee also criticised meagre social security for unemployed people and those unable to work due to sickness, finding that many of those reliant on benefits receive less than 40% of the median UK income of £152.22 a week.

The report found that the UK was in breach of both article 12 - the right to social security; and article 13 - the right to social and medical assistance, of the charter.

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