In order to qualify for Statutory sick pay (SSP) an employee must be absent from work due to incapacity.
However, it will also apply in the following circumstances;
- isolating from other people in such a manner as to prevent infection or contamination with coronavirus, in accordance with published guidance, and;
- by reason of that isolation is unable to work.
Stay at home guidance. if you live with others and or someone in your household has symptoms of COVID-19, all household members must stay at home and not leave the house for 14 days. The 14-day period starts from the day when the first person in the house becomes ill.
Employees will be entitled to receive SSP if they are unable to go to work or carry out their role from home during the 14-day isolation period.
Social distancing guidance. The guidance “strongly advises” employees to work from home if they are aged over 70, pregnant, or have a specified underlying health condition, including chronic respiratory diseases, chronic heart, kidney or liver disease, diabetes and those with a weakened immune system. It also strongly advises them to avoid social mixing in the community and limit use of public transport.
Employees will be entitled to receive SSP if they are unable to go to work or carry out their role from home during the 12-week isolation period.
If there is an identified risk that an employee may have been exposed to COVID-19, then it is understandable, in light of an employer’s duty to protect the health and safety of other employees, that Clancy would wish to keep that employee away from the workplace until the risk has passed.
An employee’s right to pay where their employer sends them home from work will depend upon the precise circumstances of that decision. Line Managers should seek advice from the HR team.
What should a line manager do if an employee is living with someone who is suspected to have, or has been diagnosed with, COVID-19?
If a member of an employee’s household is suspected of having, or has been diagnosed with COVID-19, they will need to self-isolate for 14 days in accordance with the Stay at home guidance. The employee will be deemed incapable for work under the new deemed incapacity rules for SSP. They will therefore be entitled to SSP, or any contractual sick pay which may apply in this scenario.
Where an employee refuses to attend work due to fears about coronavirus, what action can the line manager take and what pay are they entitled to?
If the employee can work from home, this may well resolve the issue. If not, the line manager would need to consider the current public health advice, the specific reason that the employee is concerned about attending work and whether it would be discriminatory to refuse home working, take disciplinary action, or withhold pay in light of the employee’s refusal. Please seek advise from the HR team.
Where an employee self-isolates following either a direction by a medical professional or government guidance, what pay are they entitled to?
It is assumed for the purposes of this answer that the employee is not exhibiting symptoms and has not been diagnosed with the disease in question, and that they cannot work from home during their self-isolation. Where an individual self-isolate in response to either direction by a medical professional or government guidance they will be deemed incapable under the new deemed incapacity rules for SSP. They will therefore be entitled to SSP, or any contractual sick pay which may apply in this scenario.