Safe Sick Pay Campaign

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Safe Sick Pay Campaign: Take Action with us!

By the Centre for Progressive Change

Currently one in three people in the UK struggle on Statutory Sick Pay when they are unwell, meaning they earn only £99 a week and lose 3 days pay before receiving any sick pay. A further 2 million do not qualify for sick pay at all, often those who work multiple or part-time jobs like cleaners, carers, and parents.

Statutory Sick Pay is a broken system that does not effectively support workers, public health or growth in our economy. The equivalent of £2.76 an hour, this is not enough to pay for rent, bills and food and can push working people into debt and poverty within days of being unwell.  Workers on SSP are more likely to be low-paid or in insecure work and therefore less likely to have savings to support them during this time, forcing many to decide whether to miss work, therefore losing income or going to work sick, risking the spread of illness and denying them the rest and treatment they need to get better quickly.

Three-fifths of respondents surveyed by mental health charity Mind stated that the reduction in income as a result of SSP negatively impacted on their mental health, with a quarter adding that this impact had slowed down their recovery. Two-thirds of respondents surveyed said that receiving SSP had caused them financial problems. For some it had caused them to go into debt. A quarter of respondents specifically mentioned that SSP had impacted on their ability to buy food or pay their bills.

As highlighted by a member of our campaign: When I suffered a stroke at age 39 I nearly lost my house as the support I received was nowhere near enough to pay the bills. I had to return to work before I’d recovered properly just so I could start earning some sort of a wage to keep my family from being homeless.”

Safe Sick Pay campaign article for GM Poverty Action

The Safe Sick Pay campaign is a community organising campaign aiming to transform the sick pay system and improve our physical and mental wellbeing and safety. We want to ensure that sick pay is available to everyone, from the first day that they are sick, and paid at a rate that means people can take the time off they need and still make ends meet. Our national supporters include the Bishop of London, Young Lives vs. Cancer, Mind, TUC, Disability Rights UK and a cross-party group of MPs.

We are bringing together a broad community alliance across Greater Manchester to empower those who have been affected by this issue to take action to change it. Organisations can take part in the local coalition in a variety of ways including supporting us to engage your membership to share their stories, taking part in local alliance meetings, and representing your community at a meeting with the local MP.

If this is an issue for you or the people you work with please get in touch.


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