Coronavirus: Weak Zero-Hour Workers Are Led Into Choosing Between Isolation And Food

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MPs are demanding an emergency law to stop thousands of zero-hour and part-time workers being left poverty-stricken by Coronavirus as Unions and Labour sounded the alarm over the government’s sick pay laws amid concerns huge numbers of people in the United Kingdom may need to self isolate as a precaution.

Statutory Sick Pay doesn’t cover people who receive less than £118 a week and those who’ve been off ill for more than 7 days also need to present a GPs note to qualify. Nevertheless, people are being advised to avoid their GP if they have Coronavirus symptoms, to stop further spread of the virus, and self-isolation is meant to last 14 days.

And it’s been claimed the situation will leave part-time or zero-hour workers choosing between protecting their own and others health and putting food on the table, and the government have been called on to act and for private firms to do their bit to ensure workers aren’t left in the lurch.

Because there will be workers out there who will have to choose between putting food on their table and putting their health first, and the government and employers have to intervene in some way to support those workers.

Statutory Sick Pay (SSP) is paid to employees or agency workers who have been sick for at least four days in a row. They earn at least £118 a week on average and tell employers before a seven-day deadline.

People have to make an average of £118 per week to be eligible and the government should now guarantee that workers can get Statutory Sick Pay regardless of income because there are about a million workers in the United Kingdom on contracts with no guaranteed minimum hours.

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Labour leadership hopeful Lisa Nandy called for an emergency law to extend Statutory Sick Pay, £94.25 per week to workers on all incomes from day one because the menace of Coronavirus is worrying enough without having to fret that it will leave you without money for rent and food.

Workers on insecure contracts and those with questionable employers or bogus self-employed in the gig economy are being left to fend for themselves and to make needlessly tough decisions.

Self-isolation for some means no sick pay and this is a global health emergency and we need to do everything we can to make sure it’s not also a personal or financial hardship for families in the United Kingdom.

Ms Nandy said the burden should also fall on private firms, many of which have their own sick pay schemes, and she stated that employers need to wake up to their wider obligations.

There are going to be consequences for everyone if sick people are attending work when they should be at home because bosses shouldn’t put their profit margins before public health and people need to be able to follow medical advice.

The General Trade Union (GMB) first raised the matter last week, stating that a delivery driver was recently contacted by a high-risk customer. The unidentified driver’s company told her not to come back into work, but that meant she wouldn’t have any wages until she was given the all-clear.

However, GMB stepped in and the company backed down, but sadly more and more gig economy workers are experiencing the same outcome, and the threat of Coronavirus is an enormous problem for employers and workers across the United Kingdom, and workers in the so-called gig economy, or on zero-hours contracts are being left abandoned and poverty-stricken if they have to self isolate.

Once again the bogus self-employment model is screwing over the disadvantaged, but GMB is calling on all employers, regardless of the contract to do the right thing and pay their workers if they have to take time off due to the global health emergency.

And employers have been asked to make sure they use their discretion, and respect the medical need to self-isolate when making decisions about sick pay.

Anyone not eligible to get sick pay will be entitled to claim Universal Credit and/or contributory Employment and Support Allowance, and further action will be taken if needed to protect low wage or zero-hour workers, however, there’s no confirmation on whether this will involve widening Statutory Sick Pay.

And it was said that officials are drawing up strategies to ensure that the Coronavirus doesn’t leave people in the lurch, and a Department for Work and Pensions (DWP) spokesperson later urged Universal Credit claimants, some of who are in low paid work, to contact their Jobcentre if they’re affected.

The spokesperson stated that their staff were ready to assist people who are affected but they were advised to contact them by telephone, or via their work coach via their online journal, to explain their situation.

But this comes after ten years of austerity and one payday away from living on the streets and an expanding crime wave in the United Kingdom – Achoo. This country is doomed and the best thing about it, most of you voted for it, and we are simply slaves under the Tory government.

And what they don’t mention is that you can get help but you’ll have to fill out multiple forms that will arrive consecutively once the previous one is returned and then they’ll have to wait 5 weeks before they’ll get any money – what should they do in the meantime? Starve to death? Because they won’t be able to go to the food bank and don’t forget you’ll have to lick the envelope before sending it!

It’s a terrible and frightful position for anyone to be in, and the point is, self-isolation won’t work if people have to go to work as they have no savings and no sick pay. However, by the time the government have worked it out, it will be too late in the prevailing circumstances.

So, it’s work or starve, doesn’t give much of a choice, plus the major outbreak of the virus could further result in panic buying, empty shelves and food riots, and only PAYE staff members will get compensated for having time off because of Coronavirus.

But the UK public on zero-hours contracts can starve and now there’s a discrimination between PAYE and zero contracts on the working class who have no choice but to take those zero-hours contracts or not work at all, and it now seems this is the way to get rid of the poor peasants and I bet numerous Tories will be overjoyed.

Booting the Tories out at the next election would be a great start, especially now it appears Brexit won’t pave the streets with gold after all.

Just a 0.16 per cent increase in Gross Domestic Product (GDP) at best after the US Trade Deal or a 5 per cent plus decline if we lose out to the Americans. But the kamikaze Tories intend to crash us out anyhow and pick off the UK remains, and in a few years, people will look back at this, calling them the good times under the Tories.

Maybe we should just eat the rich?

Yet somehow the Tories will still blame Labour, like their incredible attitude and acknowledgement to the floods, and where’s Boris with his mop?

Published by Angela Lloyd

My vision on life is pretty broad, therefore I like to address specific subjects that intrigue me. Therefore I really appreciate the world of politics, though I have no actual views on who I will vote for, that I will not tell you, so please do not ask! I am like an observation station when it comes to writing, and I simply take the news and make it my own. I have no expectations, I simply love to write, and I know this seems really odd, but I don't get paid for it, I really like what I do and since I am never under any pressure, I constantly find that I write much better, rather than being blanketed under masses of paperwork and articles that I am on a deadline to complete. The chances are, that whilst all other journalists are out there, ripping their hair out, attempting to get their articles completed, I'm simply rambling along at my convenience creating my perfect piece. I guess it must look pretty unpleasant to some of you that I work for nothing, perhaps even brutal. Perhaps I have an obvious disregard for authority, I have no idea, but I would sooner be working for myself, than under somebody else, excuse the pun! Small I maybe, but substantial I will become, eventually. My desk is the most chaotic mess, though surprisingly I know where everything is, and I think that I would be quite unsuited for a desk job. My views on matters vary and I am extremely open-minded to the stuff that I write about, but what I write about is the truth and getting it out there, because the people must be acquainted. Though I am quite entertained by what goes on in the world. My spotlight is mostly to do with politics, though I do write other material as well, but it's essentially politics that I am involved in, and I tend to concentrate my attention on that, however, information is essential. If you have information the possibilities are endless because you are only limited by your own imagination...

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