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Latest news | Quarantine guidance shows need for sick pay reform, says MP

Latest news

Quarantine guidance shows need for sick pay reform, says MP

Stewart McDonald MP has said the UK Government must urgently reform its statutory sick pay (SSP) policy for workers who face losing out financially as a result of quarantine measures introduced for international travel.

Currently, people required to quarantine for 14 days on return from places such as Spain will not qualify for SSP if they are unable to work upon their return.

The guidelines state people who have to quarantine as a result of international travel can only claim SSP if an individual has coronavirus symptoms, are self-isolating because someone they live with has symptoms or are self-isolating because they’ve been notified by the NHS or public health bodies that they’ve come into contact with someone with coronavirus.

The MP for Glasgow South said:

"Even before the current pandemic, we knew that Statutory Sick Pay in the UK is one of the least generous in the world – second from the bottom in comparison to other European countries.

"Now people face losing out even more as a result of the UK Government's decision to exclude those who have to quarantine from SSP. This must be reviewed and reformed urgently.

“People need urgent support to prevent them from falling into further poverty, yet the Tories have presided over one of the least generous sick pay rates in the world - effectively pushing those in most need into poverty through no fault of their own.

"Having already written to the Prime Minister about increasing the rate of SSP, and having had no response to this date, I am now calling on the government to make this further injustice right. Even after the pandemic has passed we need to fix a broken system of SSP that punishes people for being sick or following public health guidance."

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@StewartMcDonald on Twitter