COVID-19: What sick pay are employees who have to self-isolate entitled to?

When the NHS Test and Trace service requires an employee to self-isolate, then the employee and employer need to agree on one of two options.

If working from home is possible, then the employee could do so if they are feeling well enough. However, those who cannot complete work at home should be paid Statutory Sick Pay (SSP), from the first day of their absence. 

Currently, the weekly rate for SSP is £95.85 for up to 28 weeks.

Employers, however, could offer Contractual Sick Pay (CSP), which is a scheme that enables employers to choose their rate of sick pay for their employees, which is above SSP entitlement.

Company policies will need checking foremost, as many will not cover the concept of self-isolation. Therefore, employers could choose to treat this time off as sick leave and give CSP, or they can offer SSP instead.

Coronavirus Statutory Sick Pay Rebate Scheme

The Government set up a scheme, to support businesses, where companies can be reimbursed for 14 days’ worth of SSP per employee for their absences due to coronavirus, including ones that were required to by the Test and Trace service. 

The scheme is for employers who meet the following criteria:

  • Already paid their employee’s sick pay
  • Are claiming for an employee who is eligible for sick pay due to coronavirus
  • Has a PAYE payroll scheme that was created and started on or before 28 February 2020
  • Has had fewer than 250 employees on 28 February 2020 across all PAYE payroll schemes

If you do, then you can claim back up to 2 weeks of SSP.

The Test and Trace service requires people to self-isolate for several reasons. These can be any of the following:

  • They have coronavirus
  • They have coronavirus symptoms, as defined by the NHS
  • A member of their household has coronavirus-related symptoms or the virus
  • They are clinically extremely vulnerable from an underlying health condition and told to shield
  • Test and Trace, NHS 111 or a doctor has told them to self-isolate due to coming into proximity with someone who has the virus

For more information or advice on matters relating to employment law, please contact our expert team today.

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Joanna Alexiou

Joanna Alexiou

Associate Solicitor at Mackrell.Solicitors
Joanna joined the firm’s Employment Law team in February 2020 having previously worked at another prominent firm of solicitors in the heart of London. Joanna has worked with clients from the finance, technology, arts and culture, marketing, charity and food and drink sectors.