The Worthless World of Statutory Sick Pay!
Posted on March 13, 2020
Here’s a thing. I was in a famous IT retailer today who, for the sake of anonymity, I will call CP World. I was buying a keyboard for about £15.00 to give their morale a boost as the Coronavirus crisis reaches its dystopian stages.
Statutory Sick Pay
Understandably, the lad who served me was worried. He had been told that if he showed signs of a cold, he was to go home and self-isolate and he will get SSP (statutory sick pay). This is where he has a problem.
Now, I doubt that CP World are the greatest of payers. However, a look at the minimum wage structure means that you don’t have to be a maths professor to work out that they pay a lot more than the £94.25 a week that SSP offers.
This young lad is not going to take time off work. Not unless someone tells him if he stays at work, a Coronavirus inspector will remove his lungs. There is no incentive for him to be responsible and I don’t blame him.
Will the Government Step In?
The alternative is for the government to step in and offer to pay people their full wage if they isolate. You have more chance of getting struck by lightning whilst ticking off your sixth correct number on a lottery ticket. It’s not going to happen.
Even if they were a government with social values at heart, it would be a bank breaking move because people would be self-isolating at an incalculable rate. Now, I regard myself as a socialist (which contrary to popular belief, isn’t an illness) but no one will convince me that the nation would act responsibly.
Being told you can cough and stitch up the government for two weeks’ pay is too tempting. It would be impossible to administer, especially with potentially half the work force off sick. Imagine it at the DWP (Department of Work & Pensions).
“Doreen, we have Coronavirus payments stacking up here and the computers are crashing, can you try to speed things along?”
“Cough…splutter…sorry Brenda, I have to self-isolate, see you in a fortnight”.
Of course, all this could be managed if sick pay was company policy but due to businesses like Amazon slashing margins because they don’t pay tax, British land-based retailers are going bust all over the place. This could be the end of them.
When a crisis like this comes to the fore, it demonstrates why major corporations not paying their way has an impact on business, infrastructure and ultimately health. It’s why I get annoyed when people think tax avoidance is clever. The people who operate with industrial scale tax avoidance also own the biggest media outlets, so where can we find what the real truth in this?
Tax avoidance is not clever, it is selfish; just like buying mountains of bog roll. The ‘I’m alright Jack’ attitude that has been pummelled into us, is coming home to roost, big time.
Have a nice weekend and remember…wash your hands, get out your mats, and pray to the west.