Coronavirus Statutory Sick Pay changes: legislation passed

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Posted on 02 Apr 2020

The government has now passed the legislation removing the statutory sick pay (SSP) waiting days and clarifying when SSP is payable for coronavirus-related absences.

Waiting days removed

The legislation permits payment of SSP from day one of an employee's absence from work (rather than day four), where the employee is incapable or deemed incapable of working due to COVID-19. This applies retrospectively to absences on or after 13 March 2020. 

Coronavirus-related absences 

The government has at the same time amended the SSP legislation to make it clear when an employee is deemed incapable of working due to COVID-19.  The previous reference to self-isolating in accordance with public health advice has been replaced.  Employees will be entitled to SSP if self-isolating where:

  1. They have coronavirus symptoms and are staying at home for 7 days from the day the symptoms started
  2. They live with someone who is staying at home because they have coronavirus symptoms and are therefore staying at home for 14 days from the date that person’s symptoms started
  3. While staying at home in accordance with 2. above they develop symptoms and therefore have to stay at home for a further 7 days beginning with the day their symptoms started

This means that employees covered by the stay at home guidance are entitled to SSP but those in vulnerable groups who are shielding or social distancing and who refuse to go to work are not.   

The articles published on this website, current at the date of publication, are for reference purposes only. They do not constitute legal advice and should not be relied upon as such. Specific legal advice about your own circumstances should always be sought separately before taking any action.

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