Emanuel Gomes died of suspected COVID-19 whilst cleaning the Ministry of Justice HQ in London
Emanuel was a cleaner at the Ministry of Justice who tragically passed away from suspected COVID-19 on April 23, at around 10.30pm. In the 5 days leading up to his death his he had an incredibly high fever, was delirious, and had not eaten. He should have taken time off work to rest and seek medical treatment but both his direct employer OCS and the Ministry of Justice refused to pay his wages if he missed a days work due to illness – even due to COVID-19. They also refused to pay him a living wage and only paid him £9.08 an hour.
For fear he would be unable to pay his rent, buy food or support his family if he lost his wages, Emanuel felt left with no choice but to continue working without even being provided with a face mask at the MoJ and having to take cramped public transport. He worked until the day before he died. His death was reported in the Guardian here.
Emanuel’s death is a tragedy and a scandal and was entirely avoidable. Had he received a wage that allowed him to save a little and a sick pay scheme that allowed him to actually take sick leave he may still be with us today.
Now we are mourning his death and his family need support.