On 3rd June in Parliament Gerald Jones, Shadow Minister for Wales and MP for Merthyr Tydfil and Rhymney, called on the UK Government to fill the gaps in statutory sick pay urgently, with thousands of people who are self-employed or on low pay due to miss out if they’re forced to self-isolate under the new contact tracing systems.
Now that contract tracing for coronavirus is live in Wales and England, thousands will be required to self-isolate to stop the virus spreading further, if they’ve recently come into contact with anyone who tests positive, under the system.
However, many people who are self-employed or on low pay who don’t qualify for statutory sick pay or similar support would be without any income for 14 days if required to self-isolate, and in Parliament Mr Jones called on the UK Government to take action to fill the gaps in statutory sick pay immediately, to ensure nobody is forced to choose between self-isolating or their income.
Speaking in Parliament, Mr Jones said:
“The contact tracing systems are now active in all four nations across the UK, and will require thousands of people to self-isolate to stop the virus spreading further, but for many self-employed and low-paid people who do not qualify for support such as statutory sick pay, this means there will be no money coming in to support them or their families.
“Will the Government urgently look to fill the gaps in statutory sick pay so that no one faces the impossible choice of self-isolating or putting food on the table?”
In his response, Simon Hart, Secretary of State for Wales said the Government would work to correct anomalies of people missing out on the support:
“Where people slip through the net and where there are anomalies, yes, of course, we will work to see if we can rectify those.”