Care staff now employed by Northamptonshire County Council win fight for better sick pay

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Almost 600 people will benefit from six months' sick pay rather than just four weeks

A group of care workers who used to work for a private company but now work for the county council has won the fight to improve sick pay.

The Northamptonshire branch of UNISON took on the case as almost 600 employees who used to work for Olympus Care Services had different sick pay entitlements to other county council staff.

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Previously, these workers would be paid statutory sick pay of £95.85 per week if they were ill for more than four weeks.

Northamptonshire County Council has confirmed the sick pay change.Northamptonshire County Council has confirmed the sick pay change.
Northamptonshire County Council has confirmed the sick pay change.

Now UNISON has secured an agreement with Northamptonshire County Council that they will receive the same entitlement as other staff, which is six months.

UNISON Northamptonshire county branch secretary, Kev Standishday, said: "All of the staff affected by this agreement are caring for some of Northamptonshire's most vulnerable citizens and have been invaluable throughout the pandemic.

“The improved terms will give these workers much needed financial security when ill and hopefully improve recruitment and retention. This important win shows the benefit of trade union support at work."

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Theresa Grant, chief executive of Northamptonshire County Council: “We are pleased to confirm that a decision was made in August to close the contractual sick scheme for staff who were former Olympus Care Services employees on OCS terms and conditions.

“Their occupational sick pay is now concurrent with that of Northamptonshire County Council staff.

“Prior to the request to review this sick scheme by Unison, the OCS sick pay arrangements had already been adjusted to recognise the impact of Covid-19 on frontline care staff, and we continued to extend the sick scheme payment for staff throughout the Covid-19 outbreak.

“This adjustment also meant that sick pay benefits were already being extended for staff who were absent due to coronavirus symptoms.”

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