Private ambulance drivers demand NHS sick pay

Private ambulance workers employed by Ezec have hit out at only receiving statutory sick pay (SSP) if they are off work due to Covid-19 (Coronavirus).

While mainstream NHS staff are given full pay if they are ill with Coronavirus or have symtoms and have to self-isolate, those working for the ambulance transport solutions provider only receive SSP of £95 per week – even though they deliver NHS services.

Trade union Unison claims these workers are being penalised for helping to prevent the spread of the virus.

Unison eastern regional organiser Sam Older said: “There may finally be light at the end of the tunnel for this pandemic, but if we’re going to beat Coronavirus, we still need proper infection control methods in place. That means making sure staff aren’t left out of pocket when they’re self-isolating to stop the spread of infection.”

Any company providing NHS services is supposed to receive full pay for Covid-related absences, but Unison has claimed Ezec has argued that any additional pay being given is a matter for clinical commissioning groups (CCGs) to fund – even though these groups have reportedly said this is not a matter for them.

Andy Wickenden, Ezec’s managing director, insisted Ezec ensures employees are considered key workers, adding that it agreed additional payments with the CCGs for staff last spring in anticipation of them delivering 999 services.