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Coronavirus: NHS trusts must ensure sick pay for outsourced staff

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02 Mar 2020
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GMB is demanding NHS trusts ensure outsourced staff are given sick pay in suspected cases of COVID-19.

The majority of private companies providing NHS services do not offer pay sick pay for the first three days.

This means hospital cleaners, porters, security and catering feel forced to come in even when ill.

Cleaners, porters and catering staff are putting their own health at risk to help contain coronavirus despite the fact that they don’t get paid if they go off sick. NHS trusts must guarantee all staff are given full sick pay in suspected coronavirus cases.

Lola McEvoy, GMB Organiser

What is already a serious patient safety issue could now become a national health crisis in the face of a global health crisis.

GMB is calling for trusts to guarantee that all outsourced staff – in the event of management suspecting a case of Covid-19 – are guaranteed no loss of pay, no detriment to their sickness and absence record and no loss of annual leave entitlement.

Lola McEvoy, GMB Organiser, said:

“Cleaners, porters and catering staff are putting their own health at risk to help contain coronavirus despite the fact that they don’t get paid if they go off sick.

“People are being left with an awful choice come into work when sick or lose their pay. It means workers are constantly coming into hospitals when ill.

“That’s a terrible risk to patient safety at the best of times – but in the face of the COVID-19 outbreak,  it becomes a national crisis.

“NHS trusts must guarantee all staff – where outsourced or not – are given full sick pay in suspected coronavirus cases, like NHS staff.

“Outsourcing of public sector jobs lies at the heart of all these problems, and if the Government truly cares about the our nation’s health must reverse its failed policy of outsourcing to the private sector - and bring public sector contracts back in house.”

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