GREATER Manchester mayor Andy Burnham joined forces with his Merseyside counterpart and a union boss to call for more support for workers who are asked to self-isolate amid the pandemic.

Mr Burnham, Liverpool city region mayor Steve Rotheram and general secretary of the TUC union, Frances O’Grady, issued the joint plea to the government ahead of the budget on Wednesday.

Highlighting the scale of the problem, the Greater Manchester politician said around 20,000 people in the UK a day are not self-isolating when they are told to by contact tracers, and it is thought approximately 1,000 of them live in the region.

He says workers refuse to self-isolate because they cannot afford to take time off work or risk losing their jobs.

"Some people are being put in an impossible position, they are being asked to isolate or feed their children", he said.

Mr Burnham said it is "critical" that the government address the amount of money given to people for self-isolation in the budget.

More people in the north west have been asked to go to work during the crisis, unlike other more "affluent" areas, he said, which has contributed to the region's Covid-19 infection rates being consistently higher than the national norm.

Last August, the two mayors asked the government to provide funding for people who were told to self-isolate and a scheme was set up to pay employees £500.

But each mayor has heard from residents that it is very difficult to access such payments and £500 is not enough for some households.

Ms O’Grady shared this perspective too, and wants sick pay to be made fairer for workers.

Meanwhile, Mr Burnham revealed he has received complaints about workplace concerns at a major distribution company.

He did not name the firm as he will be writing to them and waiting for their response before deciding on whether to go public.

Both mayors said they have received thousands of workplace complaints.