It has been announced that special paid leave for Covid-related illness and isolation will be canceled next week for NHS staff working in England.
Staff will return to their normal contractual sick pay arrangements starting 7 July.
Royal College of Nursing (RCN), said that the decision was "hugely disappointed" and showed "how little" the government values its staff.
According to the Department of Health and Social Care, these changes are part of the learning process for living with Covid.
It occurs as hospital admissions and Covid infections rise. This is due to two fast-growing sub-variants Omicron, BA.4 and BA.5.
According to the latest statistics from the Office for National Statistics, an estimated 2.3 million people have the virus. This is 32% more than the week before.
Current episodes of sickness absence due to Covid are fully covered for all NHS workers, regardless of length of service.
The RCN stated that the DHSC had made clear that sick pay will not be paid for any new episodes of Covid-19 illness. Access to Covid-19 special leaves for self-isolation will also be withdrawn.
Patricia Marquis (RCN England director) called the decision "hugely disappointed" and added that nursing staff are at greater risk due to their higher exposure.
Ms Marquis stated that many of our members suffer from long Covid. Their lives are adversely affected and they are unable to work.
"Facing the risk of losing their full sick pay if they are still sick due to a condition that some might argue is an occupational danger is unfair and neglectful.
"It's yet another sign of how low the UK government values its nurses staff."
A spokesperson for the DHSC stated that the temporary guidance given to NHS staff during the pandemic was being withdrawn as part of plans to return to the NHS's normal arrangements.
This generous support is available to NHS staff, with up to six month full pay or six months half-pay depending on the length of service.