Pay for carers who cannot work due to shielding

Hi there
I am my husband’s registered carer, he is registered disabled as is partially sighted and also a kidney transplant patient . We have received the government letter and he is required to be shielded as severely at risk of coronovirus.
I work in retail, I have had to tell my work I am not able to come into work for this 12 week shielding period as being surrounded by huge amounts of customers, some of whom have no regard for any distancing, plus travelling on public tranport is just too risky , very worried about bringing it back to my husband or if I become ill how he would manage due to his sight problems.
I see Asda have said that they will pay their workers who are carers of vulnerable people , however Wilko who I work for have said I will be unpaid unless I use some of my holiday.
Does anyone know if the government are looking at the situation with carers of vulnerable people who aren’t able to work from home it doesn’t seem fair that if I worked for Asda I would be paid for this 12 weeks but Wilko say they won’t pay.
Many thanks, any advice or anyone else’s experience will be gratefully received

One for Carers UK to clarify.

Government scheme … from reports both nationally and locally , seems to be more advisory than compulsory … various loopholes ?

Locally , Wilkos have a large distribution centre , one of the major employers still left.

Ironically , built over a former mining complex … wages paid still to catch up with those paid to those who used to work underneath some 26 years ago now.

Hardly anyone has a good word to say about them …

Hello Kathryn

Thanks for sharing your situation on the Forum. As your husband has received an NHS letter because he is in one of the high risk groups, according to the Governments’ guidance you are doing the right thing in shielding for at least 12 weeks.

I’m sorry to hear that your employer has said that you will not be paid during this period. I would suggest reading this guidance from Carers UK’s website which includes a section on ‘Guidance for working carers’.

This guidance states that, ‘The government has promised that Statutory Sick Pay (SSP) will be given from day one of self-isolation – see further details here. You should check your contract of employment to see if your employer offers contractual sick pay on top.’

Wishing you and your husband well during your period of shielding


Thank you Bill and Michael for taking time to reply , I do appreciate it. I also contacted my local MP, and have received an email from their office. They suggest that Wilko may be able to “furlough” me, the government scheme whereby I would be off work but retained on their books whilst the government provides this 80% of my salary, however I’m not sure if this applies to workers where their workplaces have been told to close, and also if it is actually the employee themselves who are vulnerable not a carer of a vulnerable person.
The MP says the scheme by Asda is a decision taken by them and the government cannot mandate companies to do the same if they choose not to .
I will ask Wilko again and see if I can make any progress.

Your welcome Kathryn.

You might also be interested in these articles :

‘Massive public backlash’ against Wilko plans to slash sick pay.

Wilko must listen to the public and workers and cancel their ill-thought-out plans to cut sick pay for tens of thousands of staff, says GMB Union.

The company plans to cut sick pay entitlement for every member of staff in stores and distribution centres. There will be no company sick after the first occasion of sickness. Anyone who has been with the company for less than a year is entitled to no sick pay at all from Wilko.

Even long-standing staff will only be eligible for sick pay on one occasion per year.

'Massive public backlash' against Wilko plans to slash sick pay | GMB

Wilko pushes back sick pay changes due to Coronavirus pandemic.

Having previously announced an end to sick pay for staff of less than a year’s tenure, homeware and household goods chain Wilko Retail has pushed back this change and stated that it will continue to pay sick pay to all staff who are absent due to Covid-19 (Coronavirus).

Wilko is now classing leave due to Coronavirus as an exceptional absence; employees who need treatment, or are in self-isolation, will receive seven or 14 days as paid absence, aligned with the government guidelines.

Additionally, team members who are over 70 years old, pregnant, or classed as extremely vulnerable by the NHS, as well as those who need to self-isolate due to exposure to the virus, will be guaranteed full pay for 12 weeks.

Wilko pushes back sick pay changes due to Coronavirus pandemic

Locally , many are taking a direct interest in these … really would accelerate the continuing downturn in this neck of the woods.

A GMB Union member ?

Time to consult with them !

Hello everyone
Just wanted to update the situation, after a great deal of help from Adrian Holle and my MP Andrew Rosindell Wilko have agreed to pay me in full for the 12 weeks shielding so I am able to care for my husband without placing him at severe risk and not suffer financially. They say they are now assessing employees individual circumstances with a view to paying others in the same circumstances.
I would advise anyone else just don’t be fobbed off by the management team at your store/workplace. Keep trying and enlist your MP to put pressure on these sort of companies.
I hope this helps others.

Kathryn that is fabulous news. Thank you for sharing the outcome and encouraging others to try for the same.


Kathryn, well done, you will never know how many other people you have helped by making a stand, but it will probably be hundreds, so feel VERY proud.

That’s great news Kathryn. I’m glad this worked out well for you.