PMQS: Sick Pay and Coronavirus

4th March 2020

I am glad that statutory sick pay will be available from day one – not day four – so people do not present at work and risk spreading coronavirus.

I hope this policy will remain permanent so that workers with all illnesses are able to take the time off they need to recover. This will especially benefit disabled people.

People should not have to choose between working while ill and hardship. We need a modern sick pay system fit for the 21st century. Sick pay must be set at an hourly rate and living wage; available to everyone regardless of earnings, working hours or contract; and available for 52 weeks instead of 28.

For people who are self-employed and on zero hours contracts, Boris Johnson has said Universal Credit is available from day one. It is not. It is available after a gruelling five week wait forcing people to foodbanks.

People deserve dignity and support. There is no need for people to endure hardship. The lack of support from the UK Government risks the unnecessary spreading of coronavirus.