Statutory Sick Pay related to Coronavirus
Who is entitled to SSP?
An employee (including agency workers on a contract for services) who is sick, meaning unable to work because they are not well enough to do so.
An employee who is self-isolating and unable to work because they are self-isolating in accordance with government guidance:
- The person has symptoms of coronavirus, however mild, and is staying home for 7 days, beginning with the day the symptoms started;
- The person is self-isolating for 14 days because they live with someone who is self-isolating due to having symptoms;
- The person is self-isolating for 14 days because they live with someone who is self-isolating due to having symptoms and then they develop symptoms, so must stay at home for 7 days, beginning with the day the symptoms started.
“Symptoms of Coronavirus” means the recent onset of:
a) a continuous cough;
b) a high temperature;
c) both a continuous cough and a high temperature; or
d) any other symptoms of coronavirus as may be specified by the Chief Medical Officer or one of the Deputy Chief Medical Officers in guidance as amended from time to time.
At the moment SSP does not apply to those who are following advice regarding social distancing, neither does it apply to anyone who is staying at home whilst ‘shielding’ or staying at home for any reason not permitted by the Coronavirus SSP regulations.
The Coronavirus Act 2020 does give the government powers to make changes to who is entitled to SSP so this could change in the future.
Self-isolating – medical evidence required
Employees can provide a self-certificate for the first 7 days of sickness absence. After that they are able to obtain a self-isolation notice online from NHS111
Are vulnerable people who are ‘shielding’ entitled to SSP?
No. They are not covered by the current SSP provisions because they are not sick and the Coronavirus regulations relating to SSP do not treat them as sick, even though they are self-isolating based on government guidance.
Background – the government announced that vulnerable people (e.g. people with certain medical conditions) should stay at home, or ‘shield’ for 12 weeks to protect themselves from Coronavirus. The guidance referred to as ‘shielding’ was issued on 24 March and is intended to protect the most vulnerable people who are at high risk because of certain underlying medical conditions. People in this category are due to receive letters by 29 March advising to remain at home for 12 weeks.