4 March 2020

Coronavirus: Government announcement concerning sick pay

By Anissa Hallworth, Director, Hayes + Storr.

The Health Secretary, Matt Hancock, has now confirmed that employees who are in self-isolation on medical advice, should be treated as if on sick leave and may be eligible for statutory sick pay.

When is an employee entitled to SSP following this announcement

The Health Protection (Coronavirus) Regulations 2020 contain a declaration by the Secretary of State that the incidence of transmission of novel Coronavirus constitutes a serious and imminent threat to public health, and the measures outlined in these regulations are considered as an effective means of delaying or preventing further transmission of the virus.

An employee self-isolates because they are given a written notice

If one of your employees self-isolates because they are given a written notice issued by a GP or by 111, then they are deemed in accordance with the regulations to be incapable of work, and are therefore entitled to statutory sick pay.

If your contract of employment provides sick pay over and above the statutory sick pay and your employee has been issued with a notice, they will also be entitled to full sick pay unless your contract allows discretion and you wish to exercise that discretion.

If someone chooses to self-isolate and/or is not given written notice

If one of your employees chooses to self-isolate and is not given a written notice then they are not entitled to either contractual or statutory sick pay.

If the employer requires the employee to stay at home

If the employer requests that the employee stays at home, then the employee is entitled to their full pay. This will not be classed as sick leave unless the employee has been issued with a written notice to self-isolate by the doctor or 111.

If you would like further advice on how to deal with the impact of coronavirus on your business, please contact Anissa Hallworth, Gerald Bloye or Abigail Reynolds on 01328 863231 or 01553 778900.