GMB London, the union for food workers, is calling on senior directors of Bakkavor to revise upwards the level of sick pay being paid to key worker staff forced to self isolate during the public health emergency.
According to GMB London, unless sick pay is improved, Bakkavor, the suppliers of pre prepared foods to the UK food retailers, will force staff to work putting fellow workers and public at risk or going without enough money.
GMB members in the plants in West and North London and elsewhere are deeply concerned over the inadequate level of company sick pay provisions being offered to staff self isolating.
Workers at Bakkavor are classified as key workers by the UK Government as food production is a essential industry to keep supermarkets shelves full. 80% of the company’s business is in the UK.
“So it is very disappointing to learn that Bakkavor’s Company sick pay falls woefully short of GMB members expectations to support them through this crisis if they fall sick.”
Andre Marques, GMB London regional officer said: “Since the outbreak of this COVID-19 pandemic GMB have been requesting information, in relation to what support they will be offering their members working at the Bakkavor Meals in London.
“GMB London has been calling for Bakkavor at this unprecedented time of difficulty to provide members with temporary enhanced company sick pay. This is to ensure those who need to self isolate do not suffer financial detriment for doing so.
“GMB strongly believe any businesses that fall within the key workers category must go above and beyond statutory requirements for their workforce.
“So it is very disappointing to learn that Bakkavor’s Company sick pay falls woefully short of GMB members expectations to support them through this crisis if they fall sick.
“Employees with less than 5 years service will only receive two weeks company sick pay, whilst those with more will receive 4 weeks. They then would have to rely on statutory sick pay for the remaining period of isolation.
“GMB members employed by Bakkavor are key workers and require and deserve so much more.
“The Government have set out within its Covid-19 disruption package, generous financial options for employers such as Bakkavor to support their workforce.
“I hope they come to their senses and take advantage of what’s on offer to them instead of making our members pay.”