DHL must take “responsibility” during pandemic and adopt real sick and self-isolation pay scheme for workers, says CWU


Monday 16th November 2020

DHL must take “responsibility” during pandemic and adopt real sick and self-isolation pay scheme for workers, says CWU

The Communication Workers Union (CWU) has urged DHL Parcel UK to adopt a “culture of responsibility” for key workers, as they launch a petition calling for a proper pay plan for people who are sick with coronavirus or have been forced to self-isolate.

The key worker status of DHL Parcel UK employees means that the company can keep a highly profitable business running while other businesses are forced to shut down and furlough staff.

During the lockdown in spring, DHL Parcel UK workers who were forced to self-isolate were paid the bare minimum statutory sick pay (SSP). Those who were ill got a week’s paid leave before returning onto SSP. Standing at the rate of £95.85, this is the worst statutory sick pay scheme in Europe.

The CWU finds it unimaginable that one of the richest logistics companies in the world have refused to pay key workers, who have risked their health for the good of the country, for having to take time off work due to having potentially come into contact with the virus.

Currently, the CWU believes that DHL Parcel UK’s refusal to implement a Covid-19 sickness policy means workers can be disciplined for following legal requirements and national health guidelines for taking time off work.

Despite the current climate, the company’s business-as-usual approach to the pandemic now means that workers forced to self-isolate will have to make the choice between doing the right thing and struggling to pay their bills.

Any action DHL fails to take will certainly impact the rates of infection in the areas where they are located.

That is why the CWU has launched a petition calling on DHL Parcels UK to listen to the concerns of their workers, customers and local communities where they operate.

CWU organiser Alan Smith said: “A culture of responsibility is essential in these troubled times, and this pandemic can only be tackled if we all play our part and do the right thing.

“DHL is no different, and their policy decisions will impact the spread of the virus amongst employees and customers.” 

                           Dave Ward

CWU General Secretary Dave Ward said: “It’s about time DHL acknowledged that it’s their workers that take the risk during the pandemic and make their businesses profitable.

“That’s why we are calling on them to offer full pay when sick, and full pay when self-isolating.”

We are asking all members of the public to back the campaign and sign the petition. Please sign here or see below:


DHL Parcels response to the coronavirus pandemic is shameful. They have continued to maximise profits, because of increased demand, while placing their own key workers in financial hardship.

DHL has been vigilant in reminding employees of their obligations if they test positive, or are contacted by NHS Test & Trace, in order to protect themselves from any potential Government fines and to hide behind public health guidance; but self-isolation is an essential part of helping to tackle the virus, and DHL cannot expect their workers to pay the price for recovery.

Nobody should be forced to choose between self-isolating for the common good, or feeding their families and paying bills.

If DHL claims are true that they want to “make a positive contribution to society and the environment” then they must help support their workers through these difficult times.

Businesses don’t operate in vacuums – they are at the heart of communities, and any actions they fail to take will impact the rates of infection in the areas where they are located.

There can be no going back to business as usual, as many parts of the UK are in regional lockdowns, with England now being placed in full lockdown for the next month, in order to try and tackle the spread of this deadly virus.  

That is why the CWU is calling on DHL to act responsibly, in order to keep their workers and the wider community safe.

*Please note, signatory names and personal details will not be shared with DHL or any other 3rd party organisations.


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