Covid cases are still too high in Rochdale and too many workers have been forced to choose between paying the bills and isolating at home during this pandemic. All this because they are not able to get sick pay.
Rochdale MP, Tony Lloyd, has signed a pledge calling for a sick pay system that supports all workers and will help the country not just through this pandemic but for the long-term.
Tony said, ‘2 million working people are not eligible for any sick pay because they don’t earn enough to qualify. If we are to stop Covid-19 from spreading through our workplaces, workers must be able to afford to self-isolate.
‘Low sick pay coverage was a problem before the pandemic began, but this pandemic has brought this issue to the fore.
‘That’s why I’m demanding urgent action from this Conservative Government to raise sick pay to the level of the real living wage, and make sure that everyone can access it.’
Sick pay has failed to keep pace with inflation for the past decade. The rate of sick pay is just £96.35 a week, one of the least generous in Europe, compared to average earnings of £503. A recent poll carried out by the TUC has found two-fifths of workers have said they would have to go into debt or go into arrears on their bills if their income dropped to the current level of sick pay.
A fifth of workers who have been forced to self-isolate so far have received no sick pay or wages at all.
Tony signed the pledge as part of the TUC’s #SickPayForAll campaign, stating he will ‘do everything in [his] power to advocate for a boost to statutory sick pay to:
1. End the exclusion of low-paid people from sick pay.
2. Ensure a decent rate of sick pay that allows workers to fall ill and take time off work without facing hardship.’
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