Coronavirus and Sick Pay

Coronavirus graphic on what you need to doWe have been asked for clarification on Sick Pay during the Coronavirus, so here is the official Government advice

Sick pay

Those who follow advice to stay at home and who cannot work as a result will be eligible for statutory sick pay (SSP), even if they are not themselves sick.

Employers should use their discretion and respect the medical need to self-isolate in making decisions about sick pay.

Anyone not eligible to receive sick pay, including those earning less than an average of £118 per week, some of those working in the gig economy, or self-employed people, is able to claim Universal Credit and or contributory Employment and Support Allowance.

For those on a low income and already claiming Universal Credit, it is designed to automatically adjust depending on people’s earnings or other income. However, if someone needs money urgently they can apply for an advance through the journal.

Certifying absence from work

By law, medical evidence is not required for the first 7 days of sickness. After 7 days, employers may use their discretion around the need for medical evidence if an employee is staying at home.

We strongly suggest that employers use their discretion around the need for medical evidence for a period of absence where an employee is advised to stay at home either as they are unwell themselves, or live with someone who is, in accordance with the public health advice issued by the government.

More details are available by clicking here

Advice for Employers is available from ACAS

Working from home

For any employee working from home, the employer should:

  • pay the employee as usual
  • keep in regular contact
  • check on the employee’s health and wellbeing

Find out more about:

If evidence is required to cover self-isolation or household isolation beyond the first 7 days of absence then employees can get an isolation note from NHS 111 online or from the NHS website.

More advice from ACAS can be found by clicking here

Coronavirus (COVID-19) Guidance for Employers, and Social Distancing Advice

Image result for coronavirusIn these very uncertain times, we thought it prudent to direct you to a few documents which are very clear, detailed and helpful for both Employers and Employees regarding Coronavirus (COVID -19)

Guidance from ACAS on the Coronavirus can be found here – this gives very clear advice for both employers and employees, and answers some difficult questions regarding sick pay, working from home and social distancing

Guidance for Employers –  this guidance from the government is updated daily, and can be found here 

Guidance on Social Distancing – can be found  here – this gives more detail of the groups who are at increased risk of severe illness from Coronavirus, and explains Social Distancing in more detail

Sick Leave and Holidays

Sick leave and holiday

Statutory holiday sicknessentitlement is built up (accrued) while an employee is off work sick (no matter how long they’re off).

Any statutory holiday entitlement that isn’t used because of illness can be carried over into the next leave year. If an employee is ill just before or during their holiday, they can take it as sick leave instead.

An employee can ask to take their paid holiday for the time they’re off work sick. They might do this if they don’t qualify for sick pay, for example. Any rules relating to sick leave will still apply.

Employers can’t force employees to take annual leave when they’re eligible for sick leave.

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When an employee changes their holiday to sick leave they’re paid Statutory Sick Pay which will count towards the amount of holiday pay they’ve received. The exceptions to this rule are:

  • they don’t qualify for Statutory Sick Pay
  • they were off work sick and being paid ‘occupational sick pay’

When to Start Paying Sick Pay

http://news.lanop.co.uk/wp-content/uploads/2012/09/sick-duck-83431_184x184.jpgWhen to start paying SSP

SSP is paid when the employee is sick for at least 4 days in a row (including non-working days). You start paying SSP from the fourth ‘qualifying day’ (day an employee is normally required to work). The first 3 qualifying days are called ‘waiting days’.

You can’t count a day as a sick day if an employee has worked for a minute or more before they go home sick.

If an employee works a shift that ends the day after it started and becomes sick during the shift or after it has finished, the second day will count as a sick day.

Exception

You don’t usually pay SSP for the first 3 qualifying days unless they’ve been off sick and getting SSP within the last 8 weeks.

More detailed information can be found here