Coronavirus - guidance on sick pay

Coronavirus – Looking in closer detail

We have been asked to clarify what the sick pay situation is for the vulnerable groups i.e. pregnant women, those with underlying health conditions and the over 70’s.

At the moment the guidance is that special attention is needed for these people and they are advised to limit their social contact, they are not being specifically told to self-isolate.

The following should self-isolate:

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

The NHS guidance states for those self-isolating “if you live with someone who is 70 or over, has a long-term condition, is pregnant or has a weakened immune system, try to find somewhere else for them to stay for 14 days. If you have to stay at home together, try to keep away from each other as much as possible”.

Statutory sick pay is only payable to those who are self-isolating in accordance with the above bullet points. Anybody else who wants to self-isolate for any reason should discuss their concerns with their employer and try to reach an amicable solution such as home working, annual leave or unpaid authorised leave.  If it is the employer’s decision that the employee should self-isolate, this will be on full pay.

The BBC have a useful article with the differences between social exclusion and self-isolation:

Please refer to our Coronavirus Q&A online which can be found here: Coronavirus Q&A for further current and up-to-date advice and guidance.  If this does not answer your question contact the Employment Service Helpline on 0370 840 0234.