Coronavirus – Statutory Sick Pay Update

As part of the Governments response to the emergency Coronavirus situation, in order to financially support those who need to self-isolate, and for them not to be “penalised for doing the right thing”, it has been announced that employees will receive Statutory Sick Pay (SSP) from their first day off work, rather than the fourth as part of government plans to stem the spread of coronavirus, the prime minister has announced.

Therefore, SSP (or contractual sick pay) is to be paid to someone provided they have been given a PHE self-isolation notice by a doctor or NHS 111, and are not just staying at home because they are fearful of catching the virus.

The UK’s chief medical officer has indicated that an epidemic in the UK is now likely, and that the Government will now register Covid-19 as “notifiable”, which means businesses can seek compensation if they are affected by the virus.

As you can appreciate, this brings into question how this temporary change in legislation will impact those affected, the practicalities of processing information through payroll systems, and seeking compensation all of which are still awaiting further confirmation.

According to Government, as many as one in five workers could be off sick at once. Therefore, it is important for companies to consider contingency plans for coping with high levels of absenteeism in the workplace in order to minimise impact and disruption.

As the epidemic continues, further details of the rule changes will be outlined as they become known, and we encourage regular checks on our website in order to keep updated with any changes.

 

Encouraged Actions:

Hygiene – Encourage hands are washed and consider providing hand sanitizers throughout the workplace. Posters / signs can help remind any employees, visitors, to support reducing spread

Communications – Provide communications with any adjustments to internal practices, and for disclosures to be made for all travel (UK and abroad and personal and business)

Contingency Plans – Consider how the company can continue to operate with increased levels of absences, and how the company can manage and restrict contamination risks / outbreaks

Remember: Prevention is better than cure!


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