Larchwood Care is to pay its social care workers in full if they have to self-isolate during the Covid-19 (Coronavirus) pandemic, effective immediately.
Following negotiations with the carers’ union GMB, the organisation has agreed to the pay conditions, ensuring all of its carers who work within residential and dementia care, will not be impacted financially if they catch the virus during the pandemic.
The majority of the social care workers are currently only entitled to statutory sick pay (SSP) for illness which equates to £95.85 per week.
Tony Stein, chief executive at Larchwood Care, said: “At the beginning of the pandemic, we took the decision to ensure that anyone who was following medical advice and shielding or self-isolating for twelve weeks would receive their full pay. Recent financial assistance from central government has meant we are now able to extend this to those who must self-isolate for seven or 14 days.
“Staff who have had to take time off work to self-isolate since 13 May, are currently doing so or, who are contacted in the future through the new track and trace system, can be re-assured that they will not lose out financially for doing the right thing and staying at home.
“We completely understand the many pressures our staff have to cope with, particularly if they need to self-isolate, and by ensuring they receive their full pay we can help alleviate some financial worries. It is regretful that the financial assistance doesn’t go further and allow us to make these payments retrospective to the start of the pandemic.”
“Throughout this most challenging of times, our staff have gone above and beyond in so many different ways to ensure that residents are safe and happy. The amazing work going on every single day should not be underestimated, and I am delighted that staff who are now self-isolating for seven or 14 days through no fault of their own will receive their full pay.”
Kelly Andrews, care lead at GMB, said: “GMB has been campaigning and lobbying government for full pay for all workers who have to take time off work for Coronavirus reasons.
“No one should suffer a financial detriment as a result of following government and public health advice. The entitlement to SSP only just spreads poverty and infection.
“GMB welcomes the announcement by Larchwood Care to now pay its workers’ full pay and we call on all care providers to do the same. GMB calls on all employers to make full and normal pay for any sickness a contractual right.”