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Many workers ‘denied sick pay’

Many workers ‘denied sick pay’

A study has revealed that many hospital and school cleaners are going without sick pay.

The research, which also showed some catering staff are being denied, has led to calls for sick pay to be rolled out for all public sector workers.

Unison slammed the public sector over the revelations, saying it had been left "angry" and "frustrated".

The study revealed that many contracted-out cleaners and catering staff in schools and hospitals are not offered sick pay – despite some being on the minimum wage.

Unison general secretary Dave Prentis said: "It cannot be right that these massive multinational companies can make huge profits but still cheat workers out of basic terms like sick pay – it is enough to make anyone sick.

"Cleaners and dinner ladies in schools and hospitals are paid on or just above the minimum wage, and struggle to make ends meet. Many also struggle into work when they are sick, risking their own health and the health of people around them. This is particularly true in hospitals where vulnerable patients may be put at risk by catching infections."

Unison said it was "outraged" at recently announced Government plans to scrap the two-tier workforce code in the public sector, warning that more workers' rights could be "sacrificed" for company profits this year.

"We want local authorities, hospitals and contractors to do the right thing and make a New Year resolution to pay all their staff sick pay." said Mr Prentis.

Under the current two-tier workforce code, new starters employed by contract companies are meant to get broadly comparable wages, terms and conditions as staff transferred across from the public sector.

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