Unison’s advice to workers: a good start!

Unison’s guidance for workers in the health sector confirms that “Healthcare staff, including bank staff and sub-contractors, who must be physically present at an NHS facility to carry out their duties, will receive full pay for any period in which they are required to self-isolate.”

It is good that Unison have published this advice taken word for word from the NHS England letter that issued instructions on 2.3.20 to all NHS Trusts.

However whether this instruction has translated into local policy, and whether local managers have publicised their policy is largely down to the level of trade union organisation in individual Trusts. In well unionized parts of the NHS the policy has been implemented in full. In less well organised sections, management are still being slow to act.

The more workers are aware of their rights to full sick and self-isolation pay, the safer our hospitals become. By publishing this guidance Unison is both raising the profile of this issue and indicating that it will bring the substantial resources of the union to defend any member whose employer quibbles over these payments.

We urge the national leadership of Unison to go further than a statement on its website. They should insist that NHS leaders issue a clear and unequivocal statement that all workers have the right to full paid leave to comply with public health advice.

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