International News

Long COVID forces workers to food banks.

Two UK council care workers have been forced into food bank lines after exhausting sick leave.

The two workers contracted COVID at the end of 2020 after an outbreak at their workplace that infected 30% of the staff. They have both been on sick leave since being infected, after being diagnosed with long COVID. Their union, Unite, has called for their employer to follow the lead of the local health trust and pay the two workers full sick pay while they recover, a discretion that's allowed under the 'Green Book' agreement. 

Unite regional officer Richard Gates said: “The impact of Long Covid has resulted in both members having days when they can’t even get out of bed, brain fog, no energy, and breathlessness, so the last thing they need on top of this is the stress and worry of having no money and the prospect of being taken through the sickness absence procedure over being off from work. It is not right that they are relying on food banks and benefits to survive.”

Source: Risks1028. Unite media release: https://www.unitetheunion.org/news-events/news/2022/january/two-long-covid-bedford-council-care-workers-rely-on-food-banks-as-heartless-bosses-stop-pay/

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