A new campaign from care union GMB is fighting for full sick pay for care workers after it found that four in five would be forced to work when ill due to the current Statutory Sick Pay (SSP).
Currently most of the UK’s social care workforce are only entitled to SSP when they become ill – set at just £95.85 per week, revealed GMB.
This means that some social care workers can lose up to £250 as a result of being put on SSP.
A GMB survey of almost 1,000 social care workers showed that 81% of respondents across the UK would be forced into work if they became ill on SSP.
With it being of particular importance that those who are unwell stay out of work at the moment – especially in a care setting – the campaign argues that the sick pay should reflect this, and not discourage the taking of sick days.
Rachel Harrison, GMB national officer, said: “The issue is this – workers in a healthcare setting on statutory sick pay is an infection control risk. Most social care staff simply cannot afford to be sick under the current SSP arrangements.
“They are being presented with a terrible choice and getting penalised with poverty sick pay just for doing the right thing.
“The findings clearly show a trend across social care – that the Statutory Sick Pay system represents a significant risk, heightened during a pandemic.
“It’s time for the government and care providers to take action and provide the full sick pay that will ensure care staff aren’t forced into contemplating working whilst sick.”
A petition can be signed at the GMB website, demanding full sick pay for care workers.