Pirate FM News 3 minute read

The women who wouldn't get coronavirus sick pay

The women who wouldn't get coronavirus sick pay

Published by Sarah Yeoman at 9:01am 21st March 2020. (Updated at 9:15am 21st March 2020)

It has been revealed that the poorest 10% of Cornwall's female workers would not get sick pay if they were off work due to Covid-19.

In March’s Budget, the Chancellor Rishi Sunak announced that Statutory Sick Pay would be extended to anyone diagnosed with the virus, or those self-isolating, from the first day they cannot work.

But you are only eligible for the £94.25 per week payment – covered by your employer for up to 28 weeks – if you earn at least £118 a week on average.

The lowest-paid 10% of female workers in Cornwall earned £105.40 or less per week before tax in April 2019, the latest Office for National Statistics figures show.

This was below the threshold for receiving sick pay – the figure stood at £187.20 for the bottom 10% of working men.

Across the UK, the lowest-earning tenth of male workers took home £234.00 or less weekly on average in April last year, while the figure was just £124.20 for women.



Sara Willcocks, head of communications at the anti-poverty charity Turn2us, said the pandemic had “highlighted how precarious it really is for millions of employees in the UK”.

“Although people who fall below the Lower Earnings Limit are not entitled to Statutory Sick Pay, they may be eligible for contributory Employment Support Allowance.

“Failing that you can also apply for Universal Credit but you will be subjected to the five-week wait.

“We would urge any individual in this situation to look into what support they can apply for as soon as possible.”

Sara Willcocks, Turn2us

Ms Willcocks added that the figures should be a wake-up for the Government to “build a proper social security net people can rely on”.

"As part of our emergency response to this unprecedented outbreak, Statutory Sick Pay is available from day one for those who must stay at home on government advice.

“Those who may not be eligible for Statutory Sick Pay are able to claim Universal Credit or contributory Employment and Support Allowance, dependent on their circumstances."

Government spokesperson

You can find all the source data here.

Contact Us

If you would like to submit a query or provide more information on this story please get in touch below.

Please wait...
  • Up to 3 JPG or PNG images, 2MB max size
  • We will always endeavour to credit you when we publish your pictures.
  • By uploading you are agreeing to this non-exclusive reuse, royalty-free, across all Pirate FM platforms, which extends to our partner broadcasters.
  • You retain copyright to all images.
  • If you would like to send us a video, please upload to YouTube or similar and paste the video URL into the message above.
Email Icon

Sign up for exclusive news, competitions and offers.
Proper Local News updates from Pirate FM

Suggested articles

Coronavirus: A-level students in England can use mock results to get into university

National News: A-level students in England will be able to use grades in mock exams to progress to university and college courses and employment, the education secretary is set to announce.

Coronavirus: WHO boss sees 'green shoots of hope' in coronavirus fight - and praises one of UK's measures

World News: The head of the World Health Organisation (WHO) has said he can see "green shoots of hope" in the battle against coronavirus, even with the global case count set to reach 20 million within days.

Newer articles
Older articles

Police declare 'major incident' amid Covid-19 crisis

Cornwall News: Devon and Cornwall Police say there is critical need

Major one-day show cancelled in Cornwall

Cornwall News: Organisers have issued a statement following the government's advice on coronavirus.

Most read

Dogs rescued from hot car in Cornwall during heatwave

Cornwall News: It is understood that the vehicle had been parked for almost two hours

Emergency services tackle hazardous chemical spill in north Cornwall

Cornwall News: Up to 1,000 litres of hydrochloric acid has leaked at an industrial unit