Three-in-four Conservative voters back big increase in sick pay

Press release

More than three-in-four Conservative supporters back a big increase in sick pay, a new poll suggests.

Research carried out for the RSA finds:

  • 76% of the public would like to see chancellor Rishi Sunak extend sick pay so people get full wages for self-isolating, rather than statutory sick pay (currently around £95 per week), including 74% of Conservatives and 81% of Labour voters.
  • 62% of Conservative and 70% of Labourvoters back an extension of the furlough scheme, expected to be announced  in the Budget. 
  • 50% of the public would back the proposed 'online sales tax', including 61% of Conservative voters.

Alan Lockey, head of the RSA’s future of work programme, said: 

“Our polling shows really strong support for eradicating the awful choice many workers face between feeding their family and following the Government’s guidelines. Even with the vaccine, self-isolation will continue to be a crucial part of our fight against the virus, so the Government should not hold back on providing generous support for those who have to self-isolate.

"More broadly, there is strong support for a more activist state even amongst Tory voters. People recognise it will take a tremendous effort to deliver good and secure work after the pandemic, so there is a clear case for maintaining conditional furlough support, alongside generous retraining policies, as we recover."



Ash Singleton, [email protected], 07799 737 970 


Yonder conducted an online sample of 2004 GB/UK adults 18+ between 12 and 14 February 2021. Data is weighted to be representative of the population of Great Britain. 

Targets for quotas and weights are taken from the PAMCO survey, a random probability F2F survey conducted annually with 35,000 adults. Yonder is a founder member of the British Polling Council and abides by it rules.  For further information see 


The RSA (the royal society for arts, manufactures and commerce) is an independent charity, committed to a future that works for everyone. A future where we can all participate in its creation.   

The RSA has been at the forefront of significant social impact for over 260 years. Our proven change process, rigorous research, innovative ideas platform and diverse global community of more than 30,000 problem solvers, deliver solutions for lasting change. 

Legally, the Royal Society for the Encouragement of Arts, Manufactures and Commerce (‘RSA’) is a Royal Charter Company and registered charity in England and Wales (charity number 212424) and in Scotland (charity number SC037784). 

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