Hospital workers in Cornwall can’t afford to self-isolate, says UNISON

Cleaners, porters and catering staff working at Bodmin Hospital who are required to self-isolate could receive less than £100 per week, says UNISON.

These frontline staff undertake vital jobs for the NHS but their employer GFM has said that employees will only receive statutory sick pay (SSP) if they are required to stay at home with coronavirus symptoms.

GFM, who employs over 400 staff across the country, has told UNISON that they are not legally required to pay their staff any more than SSP.

UNISON highlights NHS guidance issued in March which states that employers should ensure that any member of staff receives full pay for any period in which they are required to self-isolate.

UNISON area organiser Michael Auguste said:

“Staff are understandably concerned about the financial impact this could have on their families and many are saying they simply cannot afford to self-isolate.

“We may well see situations where staff who are experiencing COVID-19 symptoms still go to work as normal. This presents a huge risk, not just for the employee but for patients and residents of Cornwall.

“It’s extremely disappointing that the staff who are on the frontline of our response to a global pandemic are being forced to make these impossible decisions.”