Sick Pay

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2017 Community Service Group Conference
9 November 2016

Conference believes that it is fundamentally wrong that so many employers in the community and voluntary Sector offer very restrictive sick pay schemes or have no scheme at all. In the modern era, a period of time off with full pay should be a basic right to which all workers are entitled. Statutory sick pay is only £88.45 per week for workers who qualify to receive it.

Conference notes that many staff are going into work whilst sick, particularly those working in the care sector. UNISON’s 2015 Community and Voluntary Sector Survey showed that 85% of members had gone into work whilst unwell in the preceding two years (up from 78% in 2013). Only 63% of members in the service group had access to sick pay above the statutory minimum.

Conference notes that failure to offer an adequate sick pay scheme is not only wrong, but also counterproductive. There is strong evidence to show that people who have to rush back to work are more likely to become ill again. Rushing people back causes stress, anxiety and illness for the worker, but also has the potential to lead to higher long-term absentee and high turnover rates for the employer.

Conference calls on the Community Service Group Executive to:

1. Plan and deliver a campaign to name and shame major employers in the sector who offer either highly restrictive or no sick pay schemes to their employees.

2. Write to the relevant employers, informing them that UNISON intends to name them, and encourage them to work with us to implement an adequate scheme.

3. Work with UNISON Labour Link and other stakeholders to highlight this issue. This includes lobbying political parties in positions of power and influence in Scotland, Wales and Northern Ireland.

4. Continue to campaign against austerity and cuts to public spending which are exacerbating problems with low pay across the community and voluntary sector.