of 20,000 signatures

To Mel Stride, Secretary of State for the Department of Work and Pensions and Steve Barclay, Secretary of State for Health

Nearly two million workers in the UK are still ineligible for statutory sick pay as they earn too little to be above the lower earnings limit.

Even those that are eligible for statutory sick pay, find that they cannot afford to take the time off as SSP is only £99 a week and paid from the 4th day that you are ill. This leaves a third of workers having to make the difficult decision between their health and putting food on the table.

The current sick pay system jeopardises the health of all working people and puts added strain on the NHS. 87% of Organise members admitted going into work while sick and 84% of us have got a cold or other illness while at work. [1] Increasing numbers of workers being sick is not only bad for the economy but damaging to workers' short term recovery and long term health and wellbeing. Many workers simply cannot afford to take time off work and in some cases face disciplinary action when they are off sick.

Safe sick pay would be good for workers, good for employers, and good for public health.

Open letter text

Dear Mel Stride,

In a recent letter to yourself, a wide coalition of health charities, rights organisations and trade unions raised the alarm on the problems with the current sick pay system. Now new data has shown that over 98% of us could not pay our bills or cover our living costs on only £99 a week. [2] This issue cannot be ignored any longer.

Workers desperately need a change to Statutory Sick Pay (SSP) legislation so that:
👉🏽 Everyone is eligible for sick pay - by removing the earnings threshold
👉🏽People receive sick pay from day 1 rather than day 4, and
👉🏽Workers can afford to take the time off, by increasing SSP so that it is in line
with a worker’s wages.

Recent figures have revealed that a record number of working-age people are out of work due to long-term illness. Fixing sick pay would create more flexibility for employers, and prevent those in low-paid and precarious work from being forced out entirely.
With the cost-of-living crisis, the gaping holes in our sick pay system will put millions at risk.

Please commit to table legislation to change SSP so that it meets the needs of workers and encourages a safer and healthier working environment for all.

[1, 2] Organise survey: Safe sick pay survey https://the.organise.network/surveys/safe-sick-pay-survey

Sign the open letter

Signers list

Duncan Scott
Dunc Gilmour
Jill Cabrillana
Theresa Rudrum
Dee S Tyson
Robert Cutler
Olga Tomkovica
David Cooke
Fiona Norman
Jennifer Blackwell
Tamsin-Kate Howard
Mario Debono
Paul Oconnor
Mr Sean Bucher
Trudi Donachie
Mike Darlison
Catherine Carr
Mohammad Ibrahim
Chris Keegan
Jose Alvaro
Simon Gane
Shakil Ahmed Ali
Glynn Barry
Nick Packham
Lorraine Pennington
Emma Cowley
Trevor Orman
Julie Barnes
Christine Mansell
Elsayed Rageh
Elkins Nwalozie
Caroline Cameron
Sophie Elizabeth Pollard
Jay Mathy
Mal Adams
Karelia Loneragan
Charissa Martinkauppi
Ian Smith
Antonio Fonseca
Luke Thompson
Warren Taylor
Sean Garcia Owens
Stephen Driver
Graham Langham
John Curran
Wesley Taylor
Farhad Allybokus
Peter Davies
José Avellan
Judith Heald

Next step - spread the word

You're signing this as

Not you? Click here

Will you chip in?

I'm chipping in £0

Secure lock symbol

Your donation is

One off Monthly

Choose your contribution amount


Thanks, we just need a few more details to set up your direct debit.

Change your contribution amount

First name
Last name
Your email
Address (line 1)
Your postcode
Account name
Account number
Sort code
Thank you for your donation. Please hold on while we process your details securely.