Statutory Sick Pay in the Coronavirus Crisis

Written by Jennifer Ormond
13 March, 2020

Coronavirus Help | Rate of Pay • March 13, 2020

Statutory Sick Pay in the Coronavirus Crisis

Written by Jennifer Ormond

Employers are aware that if an employee earns at least £118 per week they are entitled to Statutory Sick Pay. This normally commences on the fourth day of absence, the first three days are unpaid waiting days.

In the current public health emergency, one which PM Johnson has called the worst public health emergency for a generation, the rules on Statutory Sick Pay (SSP) are being updated.

The Government have amended the SSP regulations with the Statutory Sick Pay (General) (Coronavirus Amendment) Regulations 2020 (catchy title!) to state that where a person isolates themselves in such a manner as to prevent infection or contamination with coronavirus disease where instructed by their GP or NHS 111 they are entitled to SSP, even if they do not show symptoms.

The amendment to the regulations is specific and targeted, it applies only to those isolating themselves to prevent infection or contamination with Coronavirus. Is for a fixed period of 8 months commencing 12 March 2020 but could be extended.

The biggest upheaval is that anyone who self-isolates due to an instruction by a Public Health Authority shall be entitled to SSP from day 1 of their isolation, in other words where the absence is due to Coronavirus the waiting days have been abolished.

In his press conference yesterday PM Johnson updated guidance so that anyone suffering from a fever of 37.8 degrees Celsius and/or a new and continuous cough should self-isolate for 7 days. The individual is also entitled to SSP as they are ill.

Although the detail has not yet been released employers will be able to recover SSP where their employee has been absent due to coronavirus, this only applies to businesses with up to 250 employees as of 28 February 2020.

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