The Workers Union has called for better access to self-isolation pay for affected workers.
The announcement came as recent news articles revealed that 6 in 10 self-isolation grant applications are turned down.
In a strongly-worded statement, a spokesperson for the union said that the findings represented a worrying trend that could see a key plank of the government’s support package fail to reach people most in need of it:
‘Working people with COVID are suffering enough, without enduring additional financial pain for their troubles. Many councils claim that the government’s criteria for claim applications are incredibly tight, but people who are forced to stay at home may not be in a fit state to worry about dotting every ‘t’ on the paperwork.
‘Both government and councils need to give serious consideration to the way that this scheme is administered. Let’s make it easier, not harder to get help to the people that need it.’
The Workers Union on Self-Isolating Workers
It’s clear that current support schemes need greater accessibility and a more transparent profile. Many workers do not know about these schemes, and those that do may be unsure of whether they are eligible for help. Those that are eligible experience push back from council mandarins. It’s not a pretty picture for anyone – least of all the beleaguered workers on the receiving end.
While this might seem like merely a bureaucratic issue, it’s one that has deadly effects on workers, their families and anyone else they come into contact with. Because without adequate support, some people feel like it’s worth taking a risk – even when all the indications are that they should self-isolate. A recent bulletin from the Office for National Statistics revealed that between 13 and 17 percent of people from March to May failed to self-isolate after a positive test for COVID – a worrying trend that may yet have more serious consequences.
So, let’s get on top of this. The government had the foresight and moral courage to create these schemes, now they must make sure the support gets to the people that need it.
The Workers Union – fighting for social justice, fighting for you