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IWGB to sue UK government over its failure to protect precarious workers

The Independent Workers Union of Great Britain (IWGB) is taking legal action against the government over its failure to protect the wages and jobs of millions of workers during the Covid-19 pandemic, as well as its failure to ensure the health and safety of those still employed through proper sick pay.

In a letter before action being sent today, the union will argue that the current £94.25 per week Statutory Sick Pay (SSP) arrangement discriminates against women, BAME workers and workers in the so-called “gig economy” for whom these payments are not enough to survive or in some cases not even available at all.

The union will further argue that the 80% wage subsidies offered by the government to businesses to keep people employed discriminates against “gig-economy” and other self-employed workers, who are not included in this scheme. 

The current arrangements are not only discriminatory and risk driving millions of workers into deeper poverty, but are also a major threat to public health, since many workers are forced to continue working while sick or while they should be self-isolating in order to survive.