Analysis News

Video: Johnson, Hancock admit – no plans to guarantee sick-pay for self-isolated coronavirus patients

Government sticking head in sand about self-certification issues, too

Boris Johnson and Health Secretary Matt Hancock have both admitted today that they have made no plans to guarantee sick-pay for workers forced to stay at home and ‘self-isolate’ because of possible coronavirus infection.

Speaking this morning at a press conference about the spread of the disease, Johnson was asked what he will do to ensure that sick or potentially sick workers don’t suffer hardship.

His response amounted to “Nothing – but we’ll keep it under review”.

And in the Commons, Hancock’s answer was the same: it’s “under review”:

Hancock was also derided by MPs for suggesting that self-isolating patients don’t need to go to a GP for a sick-note – because they can ‘self certify’ for seven days.

The required period of self-isolation for suspected COVID-19 is fourteen days.


The Tories managed to show, in two very short answers, their utter contempt both for working people – especially the low-paid – and for the safety of the UK’s people.

If workers – especially the low-paid – are not guarenteed proper pay, they will be faced with a choice between financial hardship or risking spreading the disease.

And that puts all of us at risk.

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  1. It’s almost as if they can’t be arsed to even think about it; ‘too complicated, just do your best’. It’s a great opportunity to show how ‘small government’ works – in a deadly fashion!

  2. There is one sector that in all the hubbub, seems to have been overlooked by the media.

    I have, this morning, emailed a (Un-named as yet) prison to ask if they intend to change the security procedure for visitors entering the facility.

    The prison in question is one that uses fingerprint scanners for the identifcation of visitors. We are led to believe that the virus is most likely spread through hand contact with surfaces where others are in contact with. And this prison houses inmates from all over the country, as well as foreign prisoners, so the risk of transmission is potentially on a local to Continental scale!!

    I have asked:

    A/ In the interests of public safeguarding, do they intend to provide sanitising gel/ handwipes at these terminals?

    B/ If not, will visitors be allowed to bring their own hygiene products?

    C/ If not, is it feasible for visitors to request that other forms of ID be made acceptable (As is the case at other prisons) in order to avoid using the fingerprint scanners?


    D/ What measures have been/are being implemented to ensure the risk of transmission via searching by officers is kept to the bare minimum?

    As yet, I’m still to receive a reply. Once I have received one, I will then ask about the safeguarding of inmates.

    I won’t hold my breath, though. (No pun intended)

    1. I think all prisons use fingerprint recognition on entry? It’s clearly a problem and I bet it’s resolved along lines of ‘wash your hands afterwards’ or don’t have a visit. I wonder whether Stop and Search figures will go down? There are many workers involved in searching members of the public. It would have been nice for Johnson to have guaranteed them full wages if sick but keeping the costs down is obviously important to them. Especially when there isn’t much they can or want to do to help the economically inactive Oldies who Johnson seems to think don’t stand a chance, so why bother putting yourself out?

    2. There are some schools that use fingerprint scanners in the canteen, so that’s another risk area (especially as, straight after scanning, the kids sit down to eat).

  3. The questions of self-certification and sick pay are the sort that need to be pushed, rather than loopy generalised conspiracy rants.

    The problem that Labour has is that the leadershit election is distracting from the sort of forensic pressure that is needed.

  4. Get some rice, pasta and enough soup to feed you twice a day at least and allow for fourteen days. Don’t panic buy, so much per week will do.

    Add rice or pasta to soup to bulk it out a little when you feel up for it.

    Keep fluids topped up (cooled boiled water is best), and let friends/family know what’s going on.

    Finger crossed for most of you. If you’re over 65, or you already have existing issues, be extra vigilant.

    Good luck

  5. Is anybody surprised – this is a government which is relaxed about disabled and other vulnerable people dying of starvation in their own homes or on the streets. They have got a massive majority and will ride rough shod over the stupid sods who gave them a landslide victory in the last election.

  6. “…They have got a massive majority and will ride rough shod over the stupid sods who gave them a landslide victory in the last election.”

    You mean the Tom Watson and the PLP plotters against the elected leadership? Unfortunately not: they will be fine.
    The victims are going to be those who refused to rescind their decision to leave the EU just because Keir Starmer and the PLP thought that they knew better.
    Its the poor bloody punters who defended democracy by insisting on the referendum result being honoured who will be suffering.
    Those who cost Labour election victories in 2017 and 2019 by their treachery, backstabbing and sabotage will just keep getting richer while promoting imperialism and neo-liberalism.

    1. No. Although the PLP helped the propaganda project, you take responsibility for where you put your cross, and know what the consequences are.

      … unless, of course, you are indeed a ‘stupid sod’ who doesn’t know which way is up, and therefore also doesn’t know why you ticked ‘Leave’ – except because the Mail/Sun/Express told you to.

      You can’t have this sort of selective excuse without falling over your own logical feet in the attempt to squeeze the impossible into an ideological suitcase.

      I think that the ‘stupid’ – or rather ‘gullible’ – sod scenario is the one that stands up.

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