John Cryer: 'I support campaign to abolish sick pay lower earnings limit'

File photo dated 12/11/20 of care home resident Doreen (left) alongside her daughter Sandy at Sunris

The care sector is staffed by 'highly skilled, but often low paid people' - Credit: PA/Andrew Matthews

Many residents of Leyton and Wanstead, including from the Redbridge part of the constituency and no doubt many other readers of the Recorder, have probably contacted their own MP about the recent Trades Union Congress' #SickPayForAll Campaign.

The UK has one of the lowest sick pay offerings in OECD (Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development) countries, with £96 a week.

With many lower paid workers unduly effected. Some of these are the very people who need to be able to take sick leave, such as those who work in the care sector.  A sector staffed by highly skilled, but often low paid people.

John Cryer MP

MP John Cryer says that BAME residents make up the majority of the care sector in Redbridge - Credit: Parliament UK

In Redbridge, members from the BAME community make up the majority of this care sector workforce. This is one of the highest in London.

The BAME community in particular has been very badly hit by Covid. So they are being unduly disadvantaged, with the difficulties of low pay, very basic sick pay and the possibility of having to self isolate (often multiple times) due to the field in which they work.

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The government is planning to look at the future funding of the care sector, as part of it they must look at recruitment, retention and the payment of the staff.

I support the TUC campaign to abolish the lower earnings limit so more people in the care sector and beyond can claim sick pay, but also that the statutory level should be raised.

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