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Coronavirus Sick Pay

Self-isolation and sick pay

Employees and workers must receive any Statutory Sick Pay (SSP) due to them if they need to self-isolate because:

  • they have coronavirus
  • they have coronavirus symptoms, for example a high temperature or new continuous cough
  • someone in their household has coronavirus symptoms
  • they’ve been told to self-isolate by a doctor or NHS 111

If someone has symptoms and lives alone, they must self-isolate for 7 days. 

If someone lives in a household and is the first to have symptoms, they must self-isolate for 7 days. Everyone else in their household must self-isolate for 14 days.

If anyone else in the household starts displaying symptoms, the person with the new symptoms must self-isolate for 7 days. This is regardless of where they are in the 14-day isolation period. 

Employers might offer more than SSP – ‘contractual’ sick pay.

If an employee or worker cannot work, they should tell their employer:

  • as soon as possible
  • the reason
  • how long they’re likely to be off for

The employer might need to be flexible if they require evidence from the employee or worker. For example, someone might not be able to provide a sick note (‘fit note’) if they’ve been told to self-isolate for more than 7 days.

Source ACAS March 2020

Categories
Coronavirus Sick Pay

Coronavirus latest guidance and legislative updates

The situation in relation to coronavirus is rapidly evolving and things are changing every day. After laying emergency legislation on 12 March 2020, the government then pushed through a secondary piece of legislation on 16 March 2020.


The initial legislation lay the ground for anyone in self-isolation due to potential infection of COVID-19 to be deemed as being ‘incapable for work’. This new legislation came into force from 13 March 2020 and will be applicable for an eight-month period, up until 13 November 2020.

The second piece of legislation was published on 16 March 2020, to come into effect from 17 March 2020. The key difference between the two items was that the government guidance on 16 March advised individuals to self-isolate for a period of 14 days but before that point, the instruction was to self-isolate for seven days. The secondary legislation allows for the 14-day period of self-isolation.

The Department for Work and Pensions (DWP) has also published updated guidance in relation to ‘coronavirus and claiming benefits’. Within the guidance, it states:

“If you cannot work due to coronavirus and are eligible for Statutory Sick Pay, you will get it from day one, rather than from the fourth day of your illness. DWP intends to legislate so this measure applies retrospectively from 13 March 2020.

Statutory Sick Pay will be payable if you are staying at home on Government advice, not just if you are infected by coronavirus. This will apply from 13 March 2020.”

There has been much confusion relating to when the rules relating to SSP being paid from day one as opposed to day four would be applicable from, but this latest piece of guidance gives pretty much concrete confirmation that it took effect from 13 March 2020.

CIPP comment

At the point of writing, the legislation relating to SSP being paid from day one, and any regulations relating to the fact that employers with less than 250 staff can reclaim up to 14 days’ worth of SSP for coronavirus related absence per employee, are yet to be seen. As soon as there are any further updates for payroll professionals to be aware of, the CIPP will update its members via News Online.

Source CIPP 17-03-2020

Categories
Coronavirus Sick Pay

The Statutory Sick Pay (General) (Coronavirus Amendment) Regulations 2020

Emergency legislation has been passed via a statutory instrument to amend the Statutory Sick Pay (General) Regulations 1982, to confirm that a person who is self-isolating in line with government advice relating to coronavirus, is deemed as being incapable of work.
This follows on from Chancellor of the Exchequer, Rishi Sunak’s announcement that Statutory Sick Pay (SSP) would be payable to not only those testing positive for COVID-19 or displaying its symptoms, but also to those individuals advised to self-isolate.

Regulation 2(1) has been amended to include the following in the definition of those deemed incapable of work:

“He is isolating himself from other people in such a manner as to prevent infection or contamination with coronavirus disease, in accordance with guidance published by Public Health England, NHS National Services Scotland or Public Health Wales and effective on 12th March 2020; and by reason of that isolation is unable to work.”

This has confirmed as a temporary measure, applicable for a period of eight months. The legislation is due to expire in eight months, on 12 November 2020.

CIPP comment

The statutory instrument does not suspend the three waiting days that currently need to be observed prior to the payment of SSP, so the CIPP hopes to see a further update that incorporates this in the very near future. Nor does the legislation refer to the recent announcement that businesses with less than 250 staff as at 28 February 2020, will be able to recover up to 14 days SSP from the government.

Source CIPP 15-03-2020

Categories
Sick Pay

Bank holiday warning: a rise in holiday requests before and sick leave after

The Friday before the August bank holiday (23rd August) is the most popular day for employees to book holiday leave, with absences possibly spiking after it as well.

This data was collected by BrightHR, a HR software and e-day the web-based HR application for managing your staff holiday and absences.

BrightHR found out that the 23rd August has been the most popular day to book off for the past three years.

Alan Price, CEO of BrightHR said:

Over the past few weeks, employers across the UK have been bombarded with holiday requests for the 23rd of August with many worrying if they approve all holiday requests from workers they will be understaffed during the bank holiday weekend.

Although the Working Time Regulations 1998 instructs that all employees are entitled to 5.6 weeks of paid leave a year, employers are under no obligation to accept all leave requests. It is down to the discretion of the employer when their workforce takes annual leave, meaning you are well within your rights to refuse a request for leave if it clashes with other employees.

However, It is important to remember that all employees place great significance on their leave entitlement and refusal can often be met with annoyance.

On the other side of the coin, e-day found that employee absences will likely spike after the August bank holiday.

The State of Absence report conducted by e-day which measures data from 172,048 users of the e-day absence management system said there are three likely reasons why there is a rise in the amount of employees not coming in to work after the bank holiday. These are genuine sickness, a chance of a four-day break and an over-indulgent weekend.

Clare Avery, head of people and culture at e-days, said:

A key reason for sickness, is of course, sickness. Spending time with others in public spaces could contribute to an increase in minor illnesses. Yet without trying to cast aspersions, human nature also says its possible that more people fancy a four day break, and others pull sickies from ‘too much sun and fun’.

The important thing for employers is to learn when and why your employees are more likely to call in sick, as you may spot opportunities to make some lasting improvements to your workplace and your company culture.

The absence management company suggested certain ways to alleviate this problem in a business, by setting up a prize for the funniest bank holiday activity or a team prize for the least amount of absences.

Implementing flexible working can also help this situation as well as making sure your staff are not over worked. Ensuring that the employee should stop working at the end of the day.

Source HRreview 22-08-2019

Categories
Sick Pay Taxation

Statutory Payments 2019-20

Statutory payments 2019–20

THE DEPARTMENT for Work and Pensions (DWP) has announced proposed
revised amounts for various statutory payments from April 2019. Though the DWP
has yet to confirm the effective dates, the following reflects the position of most
changes occurring on the first Sunday in April.

● Statutory maternity pay (SMP) – The weekly rate of SMP increases to
£148.68 with effect Sunday 7 April 2019. To qualify for SMP, the employee must
have average weekly earnings (AWE) of at least:
£118, if the baby is due on or after 21 July 2019
£116, if the baby is due on or before 20 July 2019.

● Statutory adoption pay (SAP) – The weekly rate of SAP increases to £148.68
with effect Sunday 7 April 2019. To qualify for SAP the employee must have AWE
of at least:
£118, if matching or notification occurs on or after 7 April 2019
£116, if matching or notification occurs on or before 6 April 2019.

● Statutory paternity pay (SPP) – The weekly rate of SPP increases to £148.68
with effect Sunday 7 April 2019. To be entitled to SPP the employee must have
AWE of at least:
£118, if the baby is due on or after 21 July 2019 (or the adoption matching
or notification occurs on or after 7 April 2019)
£116, if the baby is due on or before 20 July 2019 (or if the adoption
matching or notification occurs on or before 6 April 2019).

● Statutory shared parental pay (SShPP) – The weekly rate of SShPP
increases to £148.68 with effect Sunday 7 April 2019. To be entitled to SShPP
the employee must have AWE of at least:
£118, if the baby is due on or after 21 July 2019 (or the adoption matching
or notification occurs on or after 7 April 2019)
£116, if the baby is due on or before 20 July 2019 (or if the adoption
matching or notification occurs on or before 6 April 2019).

● Statutory sick pay (SSP) – The weekly rate of SSP increases to £94.25, from
6 April 2019. To be entitled to SSP for any periods of incapacity for work (PIW)
commencing on or after 6 April 2018 (and which do not link to an earlier PIW)
employees must have AWE of at least £118.

If the employee’s maternity, adoption, shared parental or paternity pay period
started on a day other than a Sunday, the new weekly rate of SMP, SAP, SPP or
SShPP does not apply until the beginning of the first complete SMP-, SAP-, SPPor
SShPP-week following Sunday 7 April.
It is expected that employers will continue to be able to recover 92% of SMP,
SAP, SPP and SShPP and that ‘small’ employers will be able to recover 100% of
SMP, SPP, SAP and SShPP plus a further 3% as ‘compensation’ for the employer (secondary) NICs incurred.

Source CIPP Magazine Feb 2019