The majority of ISS cleaners in HMRC are entitled to Statutory Sick Pay (SSP) for absence due to illness. This is a flat weekly rate paid for by the government, with nothing given for the first three days of absence. In practice, as most people do not know how long they will be sick for when they fall ill, and as it is extremely difficult to survive on just £88.45 per week (equivalent to just thirteen hours’ wages on the NMW), this means workers will come into work sick or injured as they cannot afford not to.
The lack of proper sick pay is particularly concerning given that our members in ISS, due to the work that they do with strong chemicals and cleaning potentially very unhygienic areas, are particularly exposed to illness. We feel that refusal to provide a proper occupational sick pay scheme puts these workers at risk and is in contravention of the employer’s duty of care towards their employees.
- That ISS cleaners are given occupational sick pay, with the same rights as directly employed HMRC staff.