Test and Trace disaster for working people

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GMB Southern slams Government’s test and trace scheme - £95 per week won’t pay the bills  Test and Trace will be a disaster for working people, GMB Southern has said. 


On May 27, the Secretary of State for Health and Social Care Matt Hancock announced anyone who tests positive for coronavirus will be contacted by NHS Test and Trace and asked to share details about their contact with other people. 

Anyone who has been in close contact with someone who has a positive test is asked to stay at home for 14 days, even if they do not have symptoms.  

They will be only entitled to statutory sick pay of just £95.85 per week. 

Despite the uproar surrounding the Dominic Cummings scandal, Matt Hancock said following the test and trace instructions was a ‘civic duty’. 

Paul Maloney, GMB Regional Secretary, said: 

“The UK has the worst coronavirus death rate in the world and the latest Government plan is as ludicrous as it is dangerous. 

“Crucially, low paid workers cannot afford to live on £95 per week. They have no savings or private rental income to fall back on and no private family estate to escape to when the going gets tough. 

“And what about people who don’t qualify for statutory sick pay in the first place? What about healthcare workers who are daily in contact with Covid-19 patients? 

“How about those who use public transport? 

“Will all such people find themselves in a never-ending cycle of having to self-isolate? 

“All that’s going to happen here is that the proposal will drive people underground. People will not report who they have been in contact with and others will find ways not to be identified.  

“This will lead to the spread of the disease and another outbreak, all of which will be blamed on the public. 

“The only way to avoid another spike is if workers are paid full pay where they are required to self-isolate.  

“Otherwise low paid workers will be forced into a stark choice of either putting bread on the table or complying with the test and trace scheme. 

“GMB calls on the Government to pay full pay to those required to self-isolate.” 


Media enquiries: Paul Maloney 0780134383