We sent a motion on Sick Pay to Congress, this was debated and passed this morning. Our key demands were to remove lower earnings limit so everyone has access to sick pay because 2m don’t have access at the moment because they don’t earn enough and also to increase the rate, to at least the level of a ‘real’ living wage. We also asked for something to happen in Parliament and for the CEC to report back to Congress. There was a similar motion put by another Region and they were combined into Composite 7. Another deleagte from London Region made the speech; the motion was carried.

The words of the amalgamated motion are as follows,


This Congress asks the union to ensure SSP is in line with the living wage.

The tragedy of the pandemic has revealed failed to see the crisis of sick pay for many thousands of workers in particular in the private sector.

According to a report by the TUC 267,800 workers in private firms were self-isolating without decent sick pay or any sick pay at all in mid- December. Almost 210,000 workers had to rely on statutory sick pay and 57,900 got no sick pay at all, said the report.

£96.35 a week means currently staff are forced to work when unwell, otherwise they can’t afford basic necessities.

From the outset of the pandemic Matt Hancock admitted he couldn’t live on the £96.35 p.w. statutory sick pay amount.

This lack of decent sick pay available for all, forces workers to choose between putting food on the table or self-isolating for their own, their families and the community’s health. A choice no one should be forced to make.

The pandemic has only highlighted the issue that has prevailed for vast swathes of workers in the UK under our neoliberal model.

The figures are startling-the UK has the least generous statutory sick pay in Europe, worth £96.35 per week – around 15% of average earnings, compared to an OECD average of over 60% – and is only available to employees earning £120 a week or more, meaning two million workers, mostly women, do not qualify.

Making SSP match the living wage, for your contracted/average working hours would change the lives of so many workers, especially those on minimum wage and low incomes.

Congress demands that the GMB spearhead a movement wide campaign to right the wrong of the sick pay scandal.

Once a plan is in place, Congress instructs the CEC to liaise with Parliamentary Labour Party GMB Group to raise this in Parliament and report back to Congress.

Congress demands

1. Remove lower earnings limit so everyone has access to sick pay – 2m don’t have access at the moment because they don’t earn enough

2. Statutory sick pay to be paid at least level of the ‘real’ living wage – currently £96.35 a week, would raise it to at least £320 a week

These are only the first steps of a campaign to address and win for all workers in all types of employment full sick pay bringing finally some dignity and respect at work ending the scandal of workers having to make the choice they now face in the pandemic.

Sick Pay
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