More than 1,700 people in Staffordshire have signed a petition calling for statuary sick pay to be extended to self-employed during the coronavirus outbreak.
The petition, on Parliament’s website, has been signed by more than 114,700 people across the UK – including 1,703 from the county.
As of 6.30pm the petition had been signed by 123 people in the Stoke-on-Trent North parliamentary constituency, along with 102 in Stoke-on-Trent Central and 100 in Stoke-on-Trent South.
In surrounding constituencies it had been signed by 160 people in Newcastle-under-Lyme, 127 in the Staffordshire Moorlands and 132 in the Stone constituency.
It has also been signed by 160 people in Stafford, 151 in Cannock Chase, 109 in Burton, 149 in Lichfield, 204 in Tamworth and 186 in South Staffordshire.
The petition, set up by Jane Lawson, must now be considered by Parliament as it has crossed the 100,000 threshold.
It states: “The self-employed make up 15 per cent of UK’s workforce. Majority are not entitled to any sick pay. I want the Government to include us in the recent changes to statutory sick pay because of the Corona19 virus.
“Excluding us means the Government are running the risk of said people continuing going to work as just like everyone else we have bills to pay and thus spreading the virus.”
As of 9am today, Tuesday March 10, there are 373 confirmed cases of COVID-19 in the UK – with six people who tested positive for the virus dying.
Four cases are confirmed in Staffordshire – although none have yet been confirmed in Stoke-on-Trent.