Only A Pavement Away, the hospitality industry charity that supports the homeless, veterans and ex-offenders with jobs in the sector, has pledged to bridge the sick pay gap for its members to ensure they don’t fall back into destitution amid the Covid-19 outbreak.
The charity is diverting existing cash and also seeking fresh funding from supporters to help any member workers forced to self-isolate in the wake of coronavirus – and therefore reliant on statutory sick pay of £94.25 per week – or any that may face redundancy.
“In light of the present situation, it will be almost inevitable that one of our members will have to self-isolate and may only receive a very small amount of sick pay. Or they may be at a venue forced to shut,” comments the initiative’s founder Greg Mangham.
“This could well act as the catalyst that pushes them back into destitution, the streets, and/or crime. With immediate effect, Only A Pavement Away will make up the shortfall in earnings between the statutory sick pay and our members’ average weekly earnings.
“We are ensuring that our members don’t lose the stability they have gained through the opportunities given to them by the hospitality industry employers who we are partnered with. Only A Pavement Away needs to act both in a proactive and preventative manner whilst supporting those employers who have always supported us.
“We’re very mindful that the current turmoil could spark significant job losses and we’re determined to support any members facing this. We need to keep people in work and we urge anyone who can, where possible, to support this effort and to make a donation be it large or small, to help those in our communities.
“We’re looking at this with the focus on the people and the communities that hospitality serves. This is yet another opportunity for charity and hospitality to come together – let’s take it.”
The charity hopes that by providing support immediately to as many people as possible at an early stage, fewer will be forced to return to their old lives on the streets and/or in prison.
This initiative also eases the public burden through a decrease in Universal Credit payments, and avoids loss of tax revenue through redundancies.