UK cannot beat Coronavirus without adequate sick pay, govt warned

A cross-party group of MPs and the TUC have both warned the government that adequate sick pay is essential in the fight against Covid-19.

11 Sep 2020| News

The UK will not be able to fight the Coronavirus and keep the economy afloat without access to adequate sick pay for its workers, a cross-party group of MPs and the TUC have said.

In a new report, the Treasury Committee urged the government to consider raising the level of sick pay received by workers who are self-isolating or ill as a result of the Coronavirus virus.

This recommendation echoes those made by the TUC, which has warned that 43% of workers would be unable to cover essential bills if forced to self-isolate for two weeks on the current rate of Statutory Sick Pay.

This rises to 47% among workers earning below £29,000 and 50% among workers paid £15,000 or less.

Statutory Sick Pay is currently £95.85 per week, although employers have the option to pay more. Of those surveyed by the TUC, 23% said they received only the minimum level of Statutory Sick Pay.

“We can’t have a situation where people are forced to choose between their health and paying their bills,” Frances O’Grady, General Secretary of the TUC, told the Guardian.

“Unless ministers fix this gaping hole in our safety net Britain will be ill-prepared for a second wave of infections or more local lockdowns.”