Brain Tumour Research supports Safe Sick Pay campaign

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Brain Tumour Research is backing a new campaign calling for a rise in Statutory Sick Pay (SSP).

The Safe Sick Pay campaign has revealed that around a quarter of a million UK workers living with cancer are estimated to be struggling with covering essential costs, such as rent and heating bills, due to inadequate SSP. Backed by cancer and health charities, the campaign is calling for SSP to rise in line with a worker’s wages up to the Living Wage, in order to properly support cancer patients to “recover and return to work safely”.

SSP is currently set at £116.75 a week for up to 28 weeks and covers the days someone is off when they would normally have worked, except for the first three.

A letter, signed by charities including Brain Tumour Research, has been sent to the Prime Minister and leaders of Labour and the Liberal Democrats, and the SNP in Westminster. It calls for a commitment from political parties to pledge to increase SSP, make it payable from the first day of sickness, abolish the earnings threshold so that part-time workers who are currently ineligible can receive some sick pay entitlement, and ensure that benefits such as personal independence payment (PIP) and Universal Credit (UC) are made available as soon as possible at the point of need.

The Centre for Research in Social Policy at Loughborough University calculated that people on SSP while they get cancer treatment can suffer an income loss of tens of thousands of pounds in the worst-case scenarios. Additional costs such as bills from hospital parking, travel for treatment, increased heating and food can add to this, with combined income loss and cost impact ranging between £5,000 to £28,000.

Hugh Adams, our Head of Stakeholder Relations, said: “The issue of inadequate sick pay is one which directly affects our community and we’re pleased to support the Safe Sick Pay campaign.

“Our report, Exposing the financial impact of a brain tumour diagnosis, published in 2018, revealed that the financial impact of a brain tumour diagnosis is more than double that of other cancers, with the average household losing more than £14,500 per year. People affected by brain tumours and other types of cancers need better support so they do not have to worry about financial hardship in what is already a distressing situation.”

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