Troubling rise in both days off due to COVID and reported cases in parliament

17 November 2020

The Times is reporting that the number of parliamentary staff off sick because of COVID, and the number of staff days lost due to COVID, are increasingly significantly –

Houses of Parliament

Between September and October there was an increase of 46% in days off due to COVID, and an increase of 38% in the number of staff reported absent due to COVID.

Garry Graham, Prospect deputy general secretary, said:

“In Parliament we are starting to see a troubling rise in both days off due to COVID and reported cases of COVID among staff. The numbers are as of yet quite small but the rise is significant and requires immediate action.

“It is also clear from the number of MPs now isolating after spending time with Lee Anderson that proper social distancing is not being observed which only heightens the risk still further. It’s time for the Leader of the House to end this short sighted insistence on the attendance of civil servants and MPs.

“Unions have been warning for weeks that if we don’t return to a full hybrid parliament including remote voting then staff will pay the price. Ultimately if things get much worse parliament will have to close completely, putting democracy in jeopardy at a vital time for the nation.”