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Self-isolation numbers won't improve until government raises 'poverty' sick pay

01 Apr 2021
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Doing the right thing shouldn’t leave you so skint you can’t feed your family

GMB, Britain’s general union, says low number of people with covid symptoms who get a test or self isolate won’t improve until the Government raises Statutory Sick Pay (SSP).

A study by the BMJ this morning suggests just 18 per cent of those with symptoms said they had requested a test, while only 43 per cent with symptoms in the previous seven days adhered to full self-isolation.

Doing the right thing shouldn’t leave you so skint you can’t feed your family. The simple fact is this – self isolating and testing numbers will not seriously grow until SSP is no longer poverty pay.

Warren Kenny, GMB Acting General Secretary

Statutory Sick Pay is just £95.85 a week leaving low paid workers with symptoms the choice of doing the right thing or being able to feed their families.

From 06 April the Statutory Sick Pay will rise by 50p or 0.5% to £96.35. This is a real terms cut as the OBR projects that inflation will increase by between 1.5% (CPI) and 2.5% (RPI) in 2021.

Since the start of the pandemic GMB has been calling for Ministers to introduce full pay for any covid-related absence.

Warren Kenny, GMB Acting General Secretary, said:

“The covid crisis has exposed SSP as utterly inadequate for all workers.

“Doing the right thing shouldn’t leave you so skint you can’t feed your family.

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“It's not fair to force people into that situation and it’s no wonder many continue going into work.

“Ministers have had chance after chance to sort this out – spraying billions of pounds into almost everything but SSP.

“The simple fact is this – self isolating and testing numbers will not seriously grow until SSP is no longer poverty pay.”

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