Workers face impossible choice of losing pay or coming into hospitals when sick
More than 75% of outsourced NHS staff feel forced to come into work even when they are ill, GMB research reveals.
An exclusive focus group conducted for Channel 4 News on March 3, 2020 revealed 77% of cleaners, porters and security guards and patient transport staff employed by private contractors for the NHS admit being forced to come in to work because they can’t make ends meet without proper sick pay.
The research also reveals 78% have no sick pay at all for the first three days off.
In the face of the COVID-19 global health crisis this represents a shocking risk to public health that Government must stamp out.
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:
“This research shows the dire choice our NHS members are left in. It’s not just a risk to their health and dignity but it’s poses a massive public health risk to the whole UK.
Workers on the NHS front line are facing impossible choices over the #CoronaOutbreak— GMB UNION (@GMB_union) March 2, 2020
@Lola__McEvoy was on @BBCr4today this morning demanding leadership from the NHS and the government #coronavirusuk #CoronaVirusUpdate pic.twitter.com/OLg0qj01Se
“How can you try and stop the spread of COVID-19 when three quarters of health workers are under massive financial pressure to come into work even if they are showing signs of Coronavirus?
“Never mind its battle plan, the Government could solve stem the crisis by increasing the scope of statutory sick pay to ensure full wages from day one in suspected COVID-19 cases, and address the need for full sick pay for all workers - including those in the NHS and beyond.”
“If they are serious about the health of the British public, they must do so immediately.”