Coronavirus: GMB win for workers as ISS guarantees full pay during Covid-19 self isolation

03 Mar 2020
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The Government must now follow ISS’ lead and ensure no worker is forced to choose between public safety and paying their rent, says GMB Union

GMB, the union for NHS staff, has scored a big win for 1000s of workers after private outsourcing company ISS promised full pay for all health workers self-isolating due to Coronavirus.

Private company ISS has been handed taxpayer funded contracts to the tune of £307 million since 2015 for services including cleaning and catering in schools and hospitals.

The union has pressured NHS outsourcing companies – and the Government - to ensure all workers are given full pay from day one if forced to self-isolate.

Workers then won’t be faced with the devastating choice - put food on the table or come to work even if they believe they are infected with COVID-19.

The Government already has the powers to solve this public health crisis and could introduce a statutory right to normal pay during any period of self-isolation recommended by PHE, by amending rights which already exist under the Employment Rights Act 1996.

Lola McEvoy, GMB Organiser, said:

“Full pay from day one for NHS contract workers is an urgent priority for public safety given the escalating Coronavirus crisis.

“This announcement that ISS will give full pay to everyone required to self-isolate is the direct result of GMB members’ bravery in campaigning at Homerton Hospital and across the UK.

“This is an admission of the failures of statutory sick pay and increases the pressure on Government to now follow ISS’ lead and ensure no worker is forced to make the choice between public safety and paying their rent.

Rachel Harrison, GMB National Officer said:

“Following intense pressure from GMB, ISS has done the right thing.

“Now all NHS employers – and employers across all sectors in the UK – must follow suit and do their bit to stem the tide of Coronavirus.”

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