The government has confirmed that it will waive the three-day rule for statutory sick pay to kick in for workers self-isolating due to coronavirus
Under current rules, statutory sick pay only kicks in on the fourth day of illness and is paid at £94.25 per week.
At PMQs today, Boris Johnson told MPs: ‘Today we are announcing that people self-isolating will get statutory sick pay from the first day off work. This will be included in emergency coronavirus legislation.’
‘Nobody should be penalised for doing the right thing.’
For businesses facing short-term cashflow issues, for example as a result of subdued demand, HMRC has also indicated that it will be prepared to discuss time to pay agreements.
The latest figures on coronavirus in the UK released by Public Health England indicate that cases have more than doubled in the last 24 hours to 85. As of 4 March, a total of 16,659 people have been tested in the UK, of which 16,574 were confirmed negative.
Kate Palmer, associate director of advisory at employment law consultancy, Peninsula said: ‘It is becoming more and more apparent that the UK economy is going to have many challenges to face because of the coronavirus and the bottom line of many businesses is going to take the brunt.
‘Changing the rules on qualifying criteria for paying statutory sick pay is one example of a direct hit on the finances as sick pay bills will increase significantly.
‘The government now needs to ensure that it does all it can to support businesses through what is going to be a very testing time to prevent the spread of the virus so that as few people as possible need to take time off sick.’
The Department for Work and Pensions will be issuing a statement shortly.
Croner-i produces a special Coronavirus Toolkit with step-by-step guidance for employers including tips on emergency management, recovery planning, self-isolation and sick pay