One in five people forced to self-isolate and unable to work from home have not received sick pay or wages, according to a new study.
The TUC warned that many workers will get into trouble in the months ahead if they only rely on statutory sick pay. The union organization urged ministers to urgently increase financial support for people in need of self-isolation.
The survey of 2,200 adults found that two-fifths of workers would have to put debts or arrears on their bills if their income dropped to £ 96 a week. The current statutory sick pay rises to almost half of the disabled workforce.
TUC Secretary General Frances O’Grady said: “As the virus becomes more contagious, it is more important than ever for people to self-isolate when they develop symptoms.
“But the lack of adequate sick pay is undermining the UK’s public health efforts, forcing workers to choose between right action and hardship.
“Ministers need to stop turning a blind eye to this problem and increase sick pay to at least the real living wage of £ 320 a week and make sure everyone has access to it.”