aegis-the-union

4/6 Aegis Daily Update

Test and trace needs sick pay increase

The TUC has warned that, without extra financial support, those advised to self-isolate under the NHS test and trace scheme may choose not to do so.

It says that, while many workers benefit from contractual sick pay, paid for by their employer, 7 million employees only have the protection of statutory sick pay (SSP). This currently pays just £95.85 per week, too little for many families to live on.

Worse still, around 2 million of the lowest-waged employees do not even qualify for SSP, because their earnings fall below the qualifying income threshold.

The TUC says these include: 34% of workers on zero-hours contracts; 10% of women workers; 22% of workers aged 16-24; and 26% of workers aged 65 and over.

The organisation is therefore urging the government to introduce:

  • emergency legislation to ensure that statutory sick pay covers all employees, regardless of how much they earn;
  • an increase in the weekly amount of SSP, to the equivalent of a week’s work at the National Living Wage (£325); and
  • a legal duty on employers not to penalise or discriminate against any workers who are required to self-isolate by NHS test and trace.

The TUC has released Testing and tracing for Covid-19, an online guide on how to ensure fair access and manage monitoring in the workplace, you can access this on their website www.tuc.org


rep1
“A member could come and talk to me about anything that might be on their mind, even if it's just to get something off their chest.”

Fredrick MarkhamAegis Representative