MPs to Debate Health Worker Rewards

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MPs to debate petitions calling for "heroic" health/care worker rewards

Later this week [Thursday 25/06/20], MPs will debate petitions calling for health and social care workers to be recognised and rewarded for their heroic efforts as the coronavirus crisis continues to wreak havoc across the UK. 

The debate will be the first of two on e-petitions on Thursday, which will be taking place in the main debating Chamber for the first time in the history of the House of Commons. The debate will be led by Catherine McKinnell MP (top) Chair of the Petitions Committee.

The debate comes as the Petitions Committee has seen unprecedented levels of engagement on petitions relating to the Coronavirus outbreak, with over 4.6 million signatures from people across the country signing petitions relating to the outbreak. Parliament petitions on the issue of recognising and rewarding health and social care workers have received more than 290,000 signatures in recent weeks.

The Petitions Committee has scheduled this debate in response to the following petitions:

1. Increase pay for NHS healthcare workers and recognise their work
2. Give non-British citizens who are NHS workers automatic citizenship
3. Reduce or scrap the immigration health surcharge for overseas NHS Staff
4. We would like the government to consider social care as equally important to NHS

Catherine McKinnell MP commented: “I am honoured to be leading a debate on recognising and rewarding our health and social care workers. Since the coronavirus pandemic began more than three months ago, our healthcare workers across the country have worked incredibly hard to fight this deadly virus, putting their lives on the line to protect us day in day out.

“It feels absolutely fitting that our first ever e-petition debate to take place in the main Chamber of the House of Commons should be about recognising and rewarding their hard work, caring for us and our loved ones at a time of national need.

“There are still challenges ahead and as a country we are still in the grip of the greatest challenge to our way of life in a lifetime. As our NHS, and health and social care workers, continue to endure enormous risks and sacrifices every day, it is important we take time to reflect and discuss how we as a nation can recognise and reward their efforts.

“Petitions on this issue have been supported by hundreds of thousands of people, and we are committed to ensuring the Government takes these views into account as the coronavirus crisis continues to impact the UK on a daily basis.”

The debates on Thursday will be the first debates on e-petitions in Parliament since the Coronavirus outbreak began more than three months ago.

In place of debates, the Petitions Committee has taken an innovative approach to scrutinising and holding the Government to account, from extensive written correspondence and virtual evidence sessions to wide-ranging digital engagement and surveys of petitioners. The Committee has continued to investigate the Government’s response to the coronavirus crisis.

Since it was launched in 2015, the Petitions Committee has regularly organised debates in Parliament’s second debating Chamber Westminster Hall. However, this will be the first time the Petitions Committee has been allowed to schedule e-petitions from the website, jointly owned by the Government and Parliament, for debate in the main Commons Chamber.

The debates on petitions will be available to watch live on Parliament TV and Parliament’s YouTube channel.