MP: Government should force Greencore sick pay change

By Michelle Perrett

- Last updated on GMT

Greencore is the subject of a Early Day Motion
Greencore is the subject of a Early Day Motion

Related tags: coronavirus

Labour MP for Brent Central Dawn Butler has called for the Government to intervene to require Greencore to provide food factory workers with 100% of their normal pay during their period of self-isolation.

She made the call in an Early Day Motion (EDM) registered in Parliament last week. Currently only seven MPs have backed the motion.

EDMs are motions submitted for debate in the House of Commons but are rarely debated. They are usually used to put on record the views of individual MPs or to draw attention to specific events or campaigns

Closure

Greencore temporarily closed its Northampton site last month after an outbreak at the site, which led to 292 cases.

But the prepared foods manufacturer has been in dispute with the Bakers, Food and Allied Workers Union (BFAWU) for hiring agency staff to help meet orders while lower paid employees remained on furlough​.

Self-isolate

Greencore has said all staff required to self-isolate during August and September at its Northampton site who are contractually on statutory sick pay (SSP) are receiving 80% of their basic pay. 

“We have implemented this in recognition of the financial impact that those on SSP are facing. In addition, all weekly paid colleagues at the site have received an additional payment of £400,” ​stated the company.

“This is a bonus that would normally be paid based on attendance at the end of the year, but we decided to waive the usual criteria and give it to all weekly paid colleagues now regardless of their attendance record.

“This follows on from a recent bonus which averaged £260 per colleague and was paid to all weekly paid front-line staff in order to recognise their huge contribution while lockdown was in place.

“Having temporarily ceased production on 21 August to undertake a thorough deep-cleaning process, the site subsequently reopened with the full support of the Department of Health & Social Care, Public Health England and other government bodies.”

 

What the EDM 871 says: 

"That this House notes that the Health Protection​ (Coronavirus, Restrictions) (Greencore) Regulations 2020 (921) require staff at the company, which makes M&S sandwiches, to self-isolate for 14 days, without compensating staff for loss of earnings either at Greencore or elsewhere; further notes that staff have either been on SSP or furlough payments below the national living wage; notes that the regulations also apply to their family members without compensation for their loss of earnings; further notes that these regulations have caused extreme hardship to many staff members and their families forcing them to turn to food banks; and also notes that the company has continued production despite the secretary of state for health deciding it should close; this House congratulates the Bakers, Food and Allied Workers Union on its actions in support of its members at the factory and calls on the Government to intervene to require Greencore to provide staff with 100% pay during their period of self-isolation in accordance with SI 2020 /921.”

Related topics: COVID-19

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