Special Covid leave scrapped for NHS England staffon July 2, 2022 at 12:23 am

- Advertisement -
- Advertisement -
- Advertisement -
- Advertisement -

The Royal College of Nursing said the decision shows “how little” the government valued NHS staff.

A nurse walks through a Covid ward at King"s College Hospital, in south east LondonImage source, PA Media

Special paid leave for Covid-related sickness and isolation will be scrapped next week for NHS staff in England, it has been announced.

From 7 July staff will revert to normal contractual sick pay arrangements.

The Royal College of Nursing (RCN) said the decision was “hugely disappointing” and indicated “how little” the government valued its staff.

The Department of Health and Social Care (DHSC) said the changes were part of learning to live with Covid.

It comes as Covid infections and hospital admissions rise, driven by two new fast-spreading sub-variants of Omicron – BA.4 and BA.5.

An estimated 2.3 million people – or one in 30 – have the virus, a rise of 32% on the week before, latest figures from the Office for National Statistics show.

Currently, episodes of sickness absence related to Covid are fully paid for all NHS workers regardless of their length of service.

But the RCN said the DHSC had announced that sick pay for new episodes of Covid-19 sickness will be withdrawn, as will access to Covid-19 special leave for the purposes of self-isolation.

Patricia Marquis, RCN England director, called the decision “hugely disappointing”, adding that nursing staff face a higher risk of exposure and are therefore disproportionately affected.

“We know many of our members are suffering from long Covid, with their lives adversely affected, making them unable to work,” Ms Marquis said.

“Facing the threat of losing full sick pay should they remain off sick from a condition some could argue is an occupational hazard, is neglectful and unfair.

“It’s another indication of how little the UK government values its nursing staff.”

A DHSC spokesperson said: “As we learn to live with Covid, we are withdrawing the temporary NHS staff sickness guidance that was put in place at the height of the pandemic, as part of plans to move back to the normal arrangements set out in the NHS terms and conditions.

“This provides generous support for NHS staff with up to six months full pay and six months half pay, depending on length of service.”

Banner Image Reading Around the BBC - Blue
Footer - Blue
- Advertisement -




Remembrance Sunday: Nation falls silent to remember the war deadon November 14, 2021 at 11:36 am

Services see the return of pre-pandemic crowds, after events were scaled back last year.Image source, Getty ImagesThe nation has fallen silent as it remembers...

Dundee United 1-1 Rangers: Joe Aribo cancels out Ross Graham openeron February 20, 2022 at 1:56 pm

Rangers miss the chance to overtake Scottish Premiership leaders Celtic as Dundee United hold the defending champions at Tannadice.

Afghanistan: PM to urge G7 leaders to step up support for refugeeson August 24, 2021 at 3:50 am

Boris Johnson will also ask the US to delay the withdrawal of its troops, at a virtual meeting of the G7.The Ministry of Defence...

Peter Kay moved to tears in live comeback as tour kicks off in Manchesteron December 2, 2022 at 10:33 pm

The Bolton comedian makes a triumphant return in the first date of his first tour for 12 years.Image source, PA MediaBy Ian YoungsEntertainment &...

Boris Johnson was warned of Lebedev security concerns, says Cummingson March 16, 2022 at 5:55 pm

Boris Johnson's former adviser says the PM was given told of security concerns over his peerage plans.This video can not be playedTo play this...