of 20,000 signatures

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

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

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Signers list

Cindy Hart
Zoe Douglas-Cain
Malcolm Munt
Lorraine Thomson
Linda Oliver
Roxanne Denny
Shabnam Baseer
Michelle Talaga
Irene Walker-Quilliam
Sally Browne
Majken Blaker
Paul Barratt
Richard Stephenson
Edward Boyce
Paul Mcginity
Christine Ann Martin
Tina Hart
Kamran Malik
John Hall
Matthew Rihan
Richard Boyle Moore
David Bray
Christine Scott
Grenville Jensen
Martin Joseph Tudor
Sean Garcia Owens
L Mooney
Chriss Dandridge
Jane Berry
Emma Stevens
Anthony Ward
Huw Williams
Laura Mckay
Enid Twist
Philip Kind
Susan Mudd
Katherine Mason
Michael Nolan
Adlane Bensalem
Holly Larkin
Jill Storrie
Izabela Tipple
Daniel Hiscocks
Halon Iqbal
Martin Gilbert
Lisa Nisbet
Brian Hibbert

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