While considering motions to go to GMB’s National Congress, I and my comrades considered sick leave and sick pay. Some of the saddest stories I have from my time acting as an accompanying rep come from people who have been long term sick and thus suffered a serious decrement in their income.

This article, “Sick Leave in Europe 2022”, shows that the UK has the least generous statutory sick pay within the EU/EEA, actually Malta is worse but being 27th out of 28 is not something to boast about. This article, “Starmer’s Sick Pay Betrayal”, published in tribune, tells the story of Labour’s retreat from a meaningful reform. Several countries offer 100% of wages, and of course many businesses offer something better to their senior workers, with 6 months at 100% and 6 months at 50% being reasonable asks. Later jobs in my career not only offered PHI benefit, but also significant lump sum payments if one was unable to return to work.

It is not a unique retreat, there have been several steps away from the original promise in “a new deal for workers”. See also my article on Labour’s retreats on macroeconomics.

The rate needs to be increased and linked to a workers wages or to the NLW, and waiting time needs to be abolished.

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