People who are being advised to self-isolate will soon be able to obtain an alternative to a sick note by contacting NHS 111 rather than visiting a doctor
By Catherine Kerr, Partner and Head of Employment Law
A big question on many people’s minds at the moment is; “What happens if I get coronavirus or if I have to self-isolate – what am I entitled to?”
With the government recently announcing that they are to extend the Statutory Sick Pay (SSP) provisions, everyone who is eligible for SSP will now be entitled to it from day one of illness, rather than day four.
That’s great, but who can claim sick pay?
- If you have been confirmed to have coronavirus, you will be eligible for SSP,
- If are self-isolating or staying at home on government advice, SSP will also payable; and
- Anyone who is eligible to receive SSP.
How do I qualify for sick pay?
- You must be classed as an employee and have done some work for your employer;
- You must earn an average of at least £118 a week; and
- You must tell your employer you’re sick before their deadline (in your contract or company handbook) or within seven days if they do not have one
People who are being advised to self-isolate will soon be able to obtain an alternative to a sick note by contacting NHS 111 rather than visiting a doctor.
You will not qualify if you:
- Have received the maximum amount of SSP (28 weeks)
- Are getting Statutory Maternity Pay.
How much will I get?
The current rate of SSP is £94.25 per week however from 6 April 2020 the rate will rise to £95.85.
What if I am self-employed?
Those who are self-employed are not eligible for SSP but contributory Employment and Support Allowance will be payable at £73.10 a week if you are over 25.
This will also now start from day one rather than day eight.
What about employers?
Employers are being encouraged to use discretion about what evidence, if any, you ask for when making decisions about sick pay.
If you have fewer than 250 employees, you will be able to reclaim SSP for employees unable to work because of coronavirus for up two weeks per employee. The Treasury says that it will be “working with employers over the coming months to set up a repayment mechanism as soon as possible for employers reclaiming statutory sick pay”.
Employers that usually ask for employees to return to work as soon as they are feeling well enough should allow employees extra time until they have received medical advice confirming they are unlikely to be infectious.
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