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One in 10 women don’t earn enough to qualify for sick pay

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Written by: Emma Lunn
04/10/2019
1.4 million female employees are missing out on basic protection, according to the Trades Union Congress (TUC).

One in 10 women don’t earn enough to qualify for statutory sick pay, according to the TUC. The organisation’s analysis shows that 1.4 million women employees earn less than £118 a week – the qualifying threshold for statutory sick pay. As a result they can’t claim the protection if they fall ill.

The analysis also reveals that women account for more than two-thirds (69 per cent) of the 2 million UK workers currently ineligible for statutory sick pay.

People in insecure work are even more likely to miss out. Nearly a quarter (23 per cent) of zero-hours workers don’t earn enough to get the protection.

The TUC says that women are most at risk of not qualifying for statutory sick pay because they are more likely to be stuck in low paid and insecure work and because women are more likely to work part time due to caring responsibilities.

The TUC is calling for the minimum earning threshold to be scrapped.

Frances O’Grady, TUC general secretary, said: “No one should worry about falling into debt or struggling to pay their bills when they’re ill. It’s not right that women and insecure workers are most likely to miss out on sick pay – just because they are low earners.

“The government needs to get on and protect every worker if they fall sick.”

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