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Press release: Tories challenged over sick pay

Published on

UK lagging behind on support for workers

The SNP has called for sick pay to be increased immediately after a damning report from the Institute for Public Policy Research (IPPR) reveals many older workers, ethnic minorities, and poorer people are likely to receive no sick pay at all.

Urging the Tories to learn lessons from the pandemic the party’s Work and Pensions spokesperson, David Linden MP, called for an urgent uplift to Statutory Sick Pay (SSP) to meet the Real Living Wage of £9.90 an hour.

The Glasgow East MP warned that, throughout the pandemic the low levels of SSP placed workers in an ‘impossible position’ and risked further transmission of COVID.

The UK is cited as having one of the lowest sick pay rates in all of Europe and the developed world, with employees entitled to just £96.35 a week, equivalent to around 20% of the UK average wage.

Commenting, David Linden MP said:

"Although things are looking up, we are still one hundred percent dealing with the Coronavirus pandemic and the consequences of that. That is why it beggars belief that the UK government still hasn't taken radical action to transform Statutory Sick Pay.

"Workers deserve a decent income when they’re ill and should never be put in a position where they may be forced to go into work when they are sick, and risk the health of others, to make ends meet. We urgently need an uplift to Statutory Sick Pay so it meets the Real Living Wage of £9.90 an hour.

"The fact that we lag behind most countries in the developed world in paying sick workers goes to show the blatant disregard this Tory government has for the lowest paid and most vulnerable in the workforce.

"Many workers have been placed in an impossible position throughout the pandemic when asked to self-isolate with only minimal support in place, this can’t continue, especially when families are grappling with a brutal cost of living crisis.

"However, if the Tories continually refuse to learn the important lessons from the pandemic it’ll serve once again to prove that only in an independent Scotland can a just social security system be set up to meet everyone’s needs."


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External links

From ippr.org
A healthy labour market: Creating a post-pandemic world of healthier work

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