Boosting sick pay during the pandemic would have helped prevent virus spread

Matt Hancock’s enthusiasm for boosting sick pay would have been far more helpful when he was health secretary

Commenting on evidence from former health and care secretary Matt Hancock to the Covid inquiry about sick pay rates during the pandemic, UNISON general secretary Christina McAnea said: 

“It’s a shame Matt Hancock wasn’t as enthusiastic about boosting sick pay when he was in government. 

“Pitifully low rates meant care staff went into work when they had Covid, simply because they couldn’t afford to stop home and isolate. Increasing sick pay would undoubtedly have helped prevent virus spread.

“Matt Hancock claimed the infection control fund would ensure no care worker lost out financially if they had to call in sick. But his scheme was a spectacular failure, and everyone kept telling him as much.

“Nowhere near enough of the money ever reached the frontline. Care staff either lost wages or continued working with the virus, with disastrous consequences.”

Notes to editors:
– UNISON is the UK’s largest union with more than 1.3 million members providing public services in education, local government, the NHS, police service and energy. They are employed in the public, voluntary and private sectors.

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