Staff at HC-One care homes in Yoker and Dumbarton will get full sick pay if they are off work due to coronavirus.

Last week, our sister paper the Glasgow Times revealed how workers were terrified of showing symptoms of the virus as they would then have to self-isolate and have to live on the minimum £94 a week Statutory Sick Pay.

One worker said: “I was told I could only get SSP or borrow against future earnings. I couldn’t take annual leave as it was ‘cancelled’ in April.

“I’m already paid so low that I put myself into debt just doing the mandatory isolation period, from a disease I got at work.”

After a union campaign, one of the UK’s biggest care home firms HC-One has agreed to change its policy and increase the sick pay to cover full earnings lost.

They will pay full sick pay to care workers who have to self-isolate following exposure to Covid-19.

The firm employs thousands of staff across the UK and operates one home in West Dunbartonshire - Castle View.

It has eight homes in Glasgow including Quayside in Yoker, Wyndford Locks in Maryhill, Ailsa Craig in Cessnock, and Eastbank in Shettleston.

It owns many others in the surrounding areas including Bearsden, Uddingston and Paisley.

Around half of all deaths in Scotland from coronavirus have been in care homes.

Many staff have tested positive and have to go off work.

A GMB union survey showed 78 per cent of respondents were worried about taking a test for fear of testing positive and losing money through having to take time off work.

The union said it would benefit many low paid staff and told other private care home owners they should do the same.

Gary Smith, GMB Scotland Secretary, said: “We have been fighting from the outset of this crisis to ensure private care workers are protected with full pay if they fall sick or must self-isolate.

“We told employers and government a testing regime is undermined if it does not go hand in hand with full sick pay, and without it tens of thousands of low paid workers, and mainly women, face poverty in sickness.

“HC-One has now recognised this scandal and their decision is the right thing to do.

“The changes GMB has won for HC-One workers across the country should act as a trigger for full coverage across the private care sector – no excuses.”

HC-One charges an average of £746 a week for a care home resident, which is an increase of 4.5 per cent on the previous year. It’s accounts show last year a gross profit of more than £20m but an after tax and other costs profit of £3.2m

A spokeswoman for HC-One said: “Whilst significant cost pressures on local authority focused care providers still exist, we’ve been listening to the feedback of our colleagues on how coronavirus has impacted them from a financial and well being perspective.

“We’re proud of their courage and determination in tackling coronavirus and recognising and rewarding their endeavours is the right thing to do.

“We’re therefore delighted to implement a new sick pay policy that provides greater support to our colleagues on the front line.

“This will sit alongside our existing well being package, which includes access to online GPs and 24/7 counselling and mental health support, as well as our new grief and bereavement support service which has been introduced to support homes following the coronavirus pandemic.”