The Workers Union has issued a strong statement of support for Health Secretary Matt Hancock’s bid to end Britain’s “soldering on at work” culture.
The announcement came after Mr Hancock gave evidence to MPs on Coronavirus. As well as responding to questions about the timeframe for lifting restrictions, he affirmed his commitment to changing the nation’s approach to dealing with illness at work.
Rather than ‘soldiering on’, he said that people who are feeling ill should get a test instead of going in and making everybody ill.
He also pointed to other countries, saying that Britons were ‘outliers’ in their approach to sickness and that the recent investment in mass-testing sites for COVID should have a role in preventing illness:
‘I want this massive diagnostics capacity to be core to how we treat people in the NHS’, he said, ‘so that we help people to stay healthy in the first place, rather than just looking after them when they’re ill.’
The Workers Union Says
The Health Secretary’s approach to dealing with sickness is as refreshing as it is progressive. For too long, employees have felt like they have to force themselves into work for fear of management reprisals. This situation has already been enflamed by the Coronavirus pandemic, and is now reaching crisis point.
Human capital is a businesses most precious resource. To place undue stress on workers is, therefore, an unconscionable act that threatens their safety, security and mental health. Mr Hancock is right to say that we need a culture change and a move away from the current mindset which values selflessness to the point of recklessness.
If people are ill, they should stay away from work and be supported for doing so. That is a simple enough rule – the sooner business leaders and politicians grasp its implications, the better it will be for our national health and productivity.
The Workers Union – Britain’s hardest working union