Fears are rising that workers could be left struggling without statutory sick pay if they are forced to self-quarantine or come down with coronavirus.
The government has warned it is plausible for a fifth of the workforce to be off-sick if the illness continues spreading.
Camberwell councillor James McAsh is one local politician to sign a petition calling on the government to scrap the wage threshold for statutory sick pay – helping the estimated two million low paid workers who currently are ineligible.
“No entitlement to sick pay for self-quarantining workers choosing between having enough money to live, and putting others’ health at risk.
“If that’s the choice, the system is broken,” he said.
The petition, set up by the TUC, had achieved 12,585 signatures by this morning.
Today Boris Johnston, speaking in parliament, said emergency legislation will be brought in so workers can be paid from the off, rather than having to wait four days for their statutory pay.
But it is still unclear how zero-hours contract workers or self-employed people will be supported.