Care Workers In Wales To Receive Full Pay When Off Sick

Welsh Health Minister Vaughan Gethin has announced that all care workers in the country will be entitled to full pay while off sick or self-isolating with Covid-19, saying my expectation is that we will top-up the wages of those taking time off because of coronavirus to 100 per cent of their normal wages”.

Beforehand, most care workers had to get by on statutory sick pay (SSP) — just £95 a week — if they took time off, even if they were told by NHS track-and-trace workers to self-isolate.

He added that the decision has been taken as the current system where care workers have to survive on £95 statutory sick pay a week is “unfair” and also because it will help stop the spread of COVID-19 as care workers will be able to take proper time off work.

At the moment “it is forcing some to have to choose between self-isolating and paying the bills”, he said.

The announcement was welcomed by Kelly Andrews, GMB social care lead, who said: “It is only right the social care workforce should receive full pay, rather than the completely inadequate statutory sick pay when they are unable to attend work.

“Many carers are part-time, low paid and just can’t afford to take time off if all they get is £95 a week SSP.

“That means care workers faced with the terrible choice between coming into work when they should be isolating, putting residents and colleagues at risk, or not being able to keep a roof over their families’ heads.

“It’s a deadly and completely unnecessary situation for them to be put in.”

GMB union is now calling for the policy to be implemented in England.

The union has long campaigned for full sick pay for the social care workforce with thousands signing GMB’s petition calling for full sick pay for social care workers since it was launched last week.

Kelly Andrews, GMB Social Care Lead, said:“It’s is only right the social care workforce should receive full pay – rather than the completely inadequate statutory sick pay – when they are unable to attend work.

“Many carers are part time, low paid and just can’t afford to take time off if all they get is £95 a week SSP.

“That means care workers are faced with the terrible choice between coming into work when they should be isolating – putting residents and colleagues at risk – or not being able to keep a roof over their families’ heads.

“It’s a deadly and completely unnecessary situation for them to be put in.

“We look forward to working with the Welsh Government and employers to make this a reality as soon as possible.

“Meanwhile Westminster must learn from Wales and put this policy in place across England.”

 

 

 

 

 

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