PM bows to GMB pressure over pay in coronavirus cases

04 Mar 2020
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GMB, Britain’s general union, has welcomed the Prime Minster’s response to GMB pressure and pledging workers will be paid from day one in cases of coronavirus self-isolation.

The union said the Government now could and should use existing powers under the 1996 Employment Rights Act to ensure all employees receive full pay during suspected COVID-19 infection – and go beyond statutory sick pay (SSP) which is just £94.25 a week.

GMB scored a big win for 1000s of workers yesterday after private outsourcing company ISS promised full pay for all health workers self-isolating due to coronavirus

Susan Harris, GMB Legal Director, said:

“It is welcome that the Prime Minister has responded to our pressure and is ensuring workers will receive pay from day one if they have to self-isolate due to suspected COVID-19.

“But the Prime Minister must clarify his position and ensure the measure extends to all workers.

“The Government can and must now move fast to use existing powers under the 1996 Employment Rights Act to ensure all employees are entitled to full pay from day one during medical suspension due to coronavirus.

“Ministers should be supporting employers to do the right thing and help keep the British public safe during this unfolding crisis.

“This COVID-19 outbreak has exposed the woeful limitations of statutory sick pay – which is just £94.25 a week.

“The current arrangements give people a perverse incentive to come into work even if they may be infected - as it doesn’t cover the cost of housing or food.

“More than 2 million workers are currently not eligible for statutory sick pay because they do not meet the earnings threshold - and it is not available for the self-employed or many on on zero hours contracts.

GMB has demanded statutory sick pay should be available to all workers from day one.

“The Government must provide clarity on whether those in insecure and low paid work will receive cover under any new arrangements.”

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