30 Labour MPs including myself have urged Chancellor Rishi Sunak to use his spending review this week to increase the “deeply inadequate” level of statutory sick pay currently available to UK workers amid the Covid crisis. It must be increased to an amount equivalent to the real living wage and the lower earnings limit must be removed.
At £95.85 per week, SSP in the UK is among the lowest in Europe. The TUC estimates that it is equal to only a fifth of the average worker’s weekly earnings and leaves 43% of workers unable to afford self-isolation.
As noted in the letter nearly two million low-paid workers are excluded from statutory sick pay as those earning less than the lower earnings limit of £120 do not qualify.