Larchwood Care is providing full sick pay to staff members who are self-isolating during the coronavirus outbreak.
The care home provider said the policy would apply to UK employees who have followed official advice as of 13 May 2020.
Tony Stein, chief executive of Larchwood Care, (pictured) said: “At the beginning of the pandemic, we took the decision to ensure that anyone who was following medical advice and shielding or self-isolating for twelve weeks would receive their full pay. Recent financial assistance from central government has meant we are now able to extend this to those who must self-isolate for seven or 14 days.
“Staff who have had to take time off work to self-isolate since 13 May, are currently doing so or, who are contacted in the future through the new track and trace system, can be re-assured that they will not lose out financially for doing the right thing and staying at home.
“We completely understand the many pressures our staff have to cope with, particularly if they need to self-isolate, and by ensuring they receive their full pay we can help alleviate some financial worries. It is regretful that the financial assistance doesn’t go further and allow us to make these payments retrospective to the start of the pandemic.
“Throughout this most challenging of times, our staff have gone above and beyond in so many different ways to ensure that residents are safe and happy. The amazing work going on every single day should not be underestimated, and I am delighted that staff who are now self-isolating for seven or 14 days through no fault of their own will receive their full pay.”
Kelly Andrews, GMB Union Social Care Lead, said: “We’ve been pushing private care providers to pay full pay for self-isolating staff throughout this pandemic. Now over 100 days in Larchwood have finally stepped up.
“On the 2nd March NHS England guaranteed full pay, not statutory sick pay, for all those working in an ‘NHS facility’. However, we’ve had radio silence from our government on sick pay support for the country’s carers.
“Underpaid and unprotected, they’ve faced the maximum risk for the minimum reward and COVID-19 must be the catalyst for change so badly needed for residents and staff. Our social care sector has been neglected for too long.”
Larchwood Care’s announcement came after HC-One said last month that it was providing full sick pay to workers who had tested positive for COVID-19.