JOIN THE DISCUSSION! This week’s topic: Sick Pay

Why Sick Pay is Good for Everyone.

You may have read on our last blog post about MPC’s sick pay policy change. But did you know that this came about from departmental meetings from employees? Meetings that were organised to discuss the ongoing union recognition bid at MPC and give employees’ a voice? Something that was a direct consequence of BECTU’s bid as an alternative to solve internal issues? Well done employees and MPC for giving employees under one year sick pay. It’s great to see that employees voices are finally getting heard.

Before this change, employees had to work over one year before receiving any sick days. While in the short term this policy might be perceived to cost a company more money by allowing more employees to have sick pay, it should actually cost the company less money and here is why.

Did you know that sick employees are estimated to cost employers twice as much as absenteeism from to illness due to  underperformance on those days?  Let’s be honest; when someone doesn’t feel well they don’t perform well; take longer to get better; and if contagious are likely spread their cold to colleagues.  But it’s not just pathogens their coworkers catch as this in turn will spread underperformance from a under weather workforce.  In a study of the H1N1 flu pandemic from 2009; results showed that outbreaks lasted longer in workplaces without paid sick days than those with sick days.

Maybe that sounds extreme, but when a lot of us work long hours we don’t have as much time to rest. We probably eat too many unhealthy take away work dinners, forgo the exercise and feel stressed to boot. All four of these things studies have shown to wreak havoc on the human immune system making us more susceptible to colds. Now add to the fact that many of us travel on public transportation to work in one the biggest cities in the world with 8.5 million people, and that’s a heady recipe for flu city. This of course has a big knock on effect to projects under tight deadlines.

So even the cost savings seems clear, under UK law, employers do not have to provide anything past statutory sick pay. To qualify workers must be off work for more than 4 days and results in 88.45 a week.  It is well known that union workers receive better sick benefits than their nonunion counterparts.  Better sick pay is just one of those many benefits. 

BECTU fully believes that everyone has a right to sick pay and should not feel compelled to come to work for fear of salary loss.


Has this been an issue for you? Are you satisfied with sick pay policy where you work? Tell us about it! Want to have your say? Come along to our weekly lunch meet-up where we get together and chat about things that are important to people in the vfx industry.

We will be meeting this Thursday March 3  1:00 – 2:00 pm  @ Kingley Ct, Carnaby St. 

Look for the green flag