Boris Johnson, Prime Minister of the UK has announced that employees will be entitled to Statutory Sick Pay (SSP) from day one instead of the fourth day off due to the spread of coronavirus or COVID-19.
The Prime Minster said that those who are self-isolating are trying to help curb the spread of the virus and should not be punished for trying to aid the situation.
Mr Johnson said:
And, if they stay at home, the House will understand that they are helping to protect all of us by slowing the spread of the virus, and that is what the best scientific evidence tells us.
If they stay at home and if we ask people to self-isolate they may lose out financially. So I can today announce that the health secretary will bring forward, as part of our emergency coronavirus legislation, measures to allow the payment of statutory sick pay from the very first day you are sick instead of four days under the current rules.
And I think that’s the right way forward. Nobody should be penalised for doing the right thing.
The Trades Union Congress (TUC) has called for #SickPayForAll and is calling on the Government to introduce emergency legislation that provides SSP for all workers despite how much they earn or for how long they have worked with that company.
The TUC do not think this emergency legislation goes far enough.
Frances O’Grady, general secretary of the TUC said:
Two million workers still don’t earn enough to qualify for statutory sick pay. They can’t afford not to work. And statutory sick pay still isn’t enough to live on.
Government must go further to ensure that no one is penalised for doing the right thing.
Dave Prentis, general secretary of Unison said:
People shouldn’t be faced with a choice of making ends meet or following public health advice and helping prevent the spread of the virus.