The Coronavirus pandemic has led the government to take measures which are unprecedented in peacetime. The government has vowed to do “whatever it takes” to safeguard the British public, to reduce the spread of the Coronavirus and to protect the health service and front line staff, including spending in the hundreds of billions.
Measures announced to date include changes to the statutory sick pay regime set out in the Coronavirus Bill and the introduction of a Job Retention Scheme administered by HMRC which would cover 80% of an employer’s wage bill up to a maximum of £2,500 per month per employee, in order to allow employers to furlough rather than to dismiss their employees.
The Independent Workers Union of Great Britain (IWGB) argue that the Coronavirus Bill and Job Retention Scheme do not go far enough to protect working people, especially the low paid and those who are in more precarious forms of employment, such as the gig economy.
The government's proposed changes to the statutory sick pay regime fails to address:
In addition, the government's proposed Job Retention Scheme covers only those who have a contract of employment.
On Monday, IWGB sent a letter before action to the Treasury, contending the government's decisions are unlawful because:
Ben Collins QC, Eleena Misra, Nadia Motraghi and Rachel Owusu-Agyei are instructed by Leigh Day for IWGB.
To read the media article from the Guardian, please click here.
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