GMB Trade Union North West & Irish region welcomes the announcement from Britain’s largest care home provider HC One that they will pay full sick pay to care workers who have to go off sick following exposure to COVID-19.
Prior to today’s announcement, staff employed by the private care provider could only access statutory sick pay of £95.85 per week if unable to attend work having been infected by the virus.
GMB union has been lobbying HC-One for weeks as our members have been at the front line of the Covid 19 battle, often with little or no PPE only to get only SSP if they are infected.
The change of policy will benefit thousands of low paid mainly women workers often earning little more than minimum wage.
GMB trade union Regional Secretary Paul McCarthy said:
“We have been fighting from the outset of this crisis to ensure private care workers are protected with full pay if they fall sick. “We have told all care home employers and government a testing regime is undermined if it does not go hand in hand with full sick pay, and without it tens of thousands of low paid workers, and mainly women, face poverty in sickness".
Ann Stoddart, GMB Union Branch Secretary, added “HC One has now recognised this scandal and their decision is the right thing to do.
The changes GMB trade union has won for our HC One members across the country should act as a trigger for full coverage across the whole of the private care sector – no excuses.
Everyone should now recognise the valuable work performed by this largely female workforce, but it should not have taken an unprecedented public health crisis to wake up to the shameful conditions of workers in the care sector”