COVID-19: Are employees who have to self-isolate entitled to Sick Pay?

If the NHS Test and Trace service requires an employee to self-isolate, then the employee and employer need to come to an agreement.

If the employee can work from home, then they should do so if they are well enough. However, if unwell or it is not possible to work from home then the employee must be paid Statutory Sick Pay (SSP), from the first day of their absence. 

The current weekly rate for SSP is £95.85 for up to 28 weeks. If employers usually pay contractual sick pay in excess of SSP, then they could choose to pay this enhanced rate.

Employers may have a choice, as many contractual policies will not cover the concept of self-isolation. Therefore, employers could choose to pay the contractual rate or SSP.

Coronavirus Statutory Sick Pay Rebate Scheme

The Government has 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 those that were required to isolate by the Test and Trace service. 

Employers must meet the following criteria:

  • Have 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

The Test and Trace service requires people to self-isolate when:

  • They have coronavirus
  • They have coronavirus-related symptoms
  • 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.