HSE CEO and CCO comments show need for paid sick leave
- Government must follow clear public health advice and back Labour sick leave bill
- HSE Chief Executive and Chief Clinical Officer highlight pay for sick workers as a public health issue at press conference today
The Government must stop ignoring the clear public health advice and support the Labour Party’s Sick Leave and Parental Leave (Covid-19) Bill according to Labour Leader Alan Kelly who was speaking after the HSE Briefing on Covid-19 where both the Chief Executive of the H.S.E and the Chief Clinical Officer stressed the importance of people who are symptomatic or are a close contact to stay away from the workplace.
Deputy Kelly said:
“The public health advice is very clear but for many people the choice between going to work while symptomatic and staying at home is a choice between getting paid or not and it is a choice we cannot force people to make as we enter winter.
“During the HSE press briefing, Dr Colm Henry, the Chief Clinical Officer said ‘We all know how important it is for somebody who is symptomatic, somebody who is a contact, somebody who may have Covid to stay away from congregated settings so any measures put in place to avoid that happening and to support workers in adhering to those measures would certainly be welcomed by our public health departments managing outbreaks.’ and the HSE Chief Paul Reid was also unequivocal when questioned by RTÉ’s Health Correspondent Fergal Bowers when he stated that ‘One issue is ensuring that people can stay away from work and the issue of pay is a factor, and has been identified as a factor’.
“The Government need to take their own advice and listen to public health experts and get behind this vital piece of public health legislation. We cannot afford to waste anymore time. It is not good enough for the Taoiseach to tell me has dealt with the issue of sick pay when the public health experts, whom he has repeatedly asked us to listen to, say he has not.
“I am calling on the Taoiseach and Government to follow the public health advice on this vital issue and deal with the issue of sick pay by supporting Labour’s Bill.