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Call to abolish sick-pay threshold


TUC, analysis, new report, sick pay threshold, part-time workers, zero-hours workers, women, scrap sick-pay threshold“The government needs to get on and protect every worker if they fall sick.”

One in 10 women workers do not earn enough to qualify for statutory sick pay, according to TUC analysis published recently.

Research found that 1.4 million women employees earn less than £118 a week – the qualifying threshold for statutory sick pay.

Which means they cannot claim sick pay if they fall ill.

Working people can get £94.25 per week Statutory Sick Pay (SSP) if they are too ill to work. It is paid by the employer for up to 28 weeks. Workers need to have been off work sick for 4 or more days in a row to receive the payment.

The self-employed are not entitled to any statutory sick pay.

The TUC’s analysis revealed that women account for more than two-thirds (69 per cent) of the 2 million UK workers currently ineligible for statutory sick pay and that people in insecure work are even more likely to miss out. Nearly a quarter (23 per cent) of zero-hours workers do not earn enough to get the protection.

ONS data from 2018 showed that women and young people are more likely to be on zero-hours contracts and that 41 per cent of women in employment are part-time workers compared to 13 per cent of men.

And women are most at risk of not qualifying for statutory sick pay because they are more likely to be stuck in low-paid and insecure work, and because women are more likely to work part-time because of caring responsibilities.

The TUC is now calling for the minimum earning threshold to be scrapped.

The TUC’s General Secretary, Frances O’Grady, said: “No one should worry about falling into debt or struggling to pay their bills when they’re ill.

“It’s not right that women and insecure workers are most likely to miss out on sick pay – just because they are low earners.

“The government needs to get on and protect every worker if they fall sick.”

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