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The Edgbaston Park Hotel Boycott, Sick Pay, and Coronavirus

In light of the coronavirus likelihood in places traversed by many people, we fear the real risk of The Edgbaston Park Hotel (The University of Birmingham’s wholly-owned and outsourced subsidiary company) staff coming in whatever happens because they can’t afford to be sick due to their very low contractual rights. We are continuing to urge everyone to BOYCOTT the EPH until all workers are brought in-house. Sign the pledge here: boycotteph.org.uk

We‘re calling on The Edgbaston Park Hotel management and University of Birmingham management to ensure people are paid in full if they need to quarantine or have coronavirus symptoms, but the moral thing to do is to have fair sick pay provisions in the first place that mean people don’t lose out financially from being ill. Very important to highlight is that the majority of those who are lowest paid in the Hotel (housekeepers, caterers) are migrant workers. It is migrant workers who are bearing the brunt of outsourcing in our university, and the risks and poverty associated with it.

Staff at the Edgbaston Park Hotel have no rights to contractual sick pay until they’ve worked there for a year (and they only get 5 days then). The maximum amount of sick pay many employees get is 15 days, after *3 years service*.

This is morally bankrupt at the best of times – staff shouldn’t lose money when they are ill and given many of these staff are on very low wages already, they will be put in the impossible position of having to go into work when they are ill or lose out financially.

Currently with the strict advice in place for the Coronavirus it’s downright dangerous in public health terms to give staff any reason not to be honest about their health or travel history. We’ve asked the Hotel to confirm urgently that they will ensure staff are able to properly follow medical advice without losing huge amounts of their income. Surely it’s not unreasonable though for an employer to give their staff proper sick pay or are they happy with the risk this causes to staff and customers?

Some useful information for anyone who’s interested:

https://www.acas.org.uk/coronavirus – good indication of many of the issues in uk employment law in general but note a big organisation like the University can do much more!

https://www.megaphone.org.uk/…/sick-pay-for-every-worker-on… – TUC petition calling on all workers to have the right to sick pay from day one

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