Safe and Equal is calling on other workers to follow the example of school workers backed by the National Education Union in using Section 44 of the Employment Protection Act 1996 to refuse to enter workplaces they consider to pose “serious and imminent danger”.
“School worker unions have demanded mass testing. However, just as important is full sick and isolation pay for all. If parents and caregivers cannot afford to take time off work to isolate then many will continue to go to work, and continue to send their infectious children into school.
“Official studies show that less than one in five people comply with isolation rules... The UK (alongside Malta) has the worst Statutory Sick Pay in the Europe paying just £95.85 a week. About 12 million workers are reliant on this scheme if they have to isolate...”
Safe and Equal is also continuing its specific campaign for isolation pay for the workers in NHS Test-and-Trace contractors, many of whom are on zero-hours. It wants people going for tests to ask the test-centre workers about their conditions and whether they get isolation pay.
Neurodivergent Labour plans to raise demands for Labour’s campaign in May’s local elections. It wants cuts reversed, Covid “easements” scrapped, full sick and isolation pay for all, and a well-funded publicly-run social care system.
ND Labour is also compiling a submission in response to the Ministry of Justice’s call for evidence about neurodiversity in the justice system. The case of Osime Brown has highlighted how autistic, dyslexic and other neurodivergent people are often misunderstood and harshly treated in a justice system not geared to their way of thinking — especially when they are also young, black and/or working class.
Osime’s campaign has been boosted recently by another Twitter storm and by one hundred well-known names signing a letter opposing his threatened deportation to Jamaica. Sign up to support him and receive updates here.
• All campaign info, plus model motion texts, here