If an employee is advised to self-isolate to avoid the risk of spreading coronavirus, are they entitled to sick pay?

Employees who are staying at home in accordance with government advice or advice from the NHS test and trace service, are entitled to statutory sick pay (SSP), even if they are not ill.

Current government guidance is that anyone who has a high temperature, a new continuous cough and/or a loss of, or change in, their normal sense of taste or smell should stay at home (ie self-isolate) for at least 10 days from the onset of symptoms. If they live with others, everyone in the household should stay at home for 10 days, even if they have no symptoms. Someone without symptoms who has tested positive for coronavirus (COVID-19), must self-isolate for at least 10 days from the date of the test.

People may also be instructed by the NHS test and trace service to self-isolate if they have had close recent contact with someone who has coronavirus (COVID-19).

Employees who are unable to work because they are "shielding" due to being clinically extremely vulnerable from coronavirus because of certain underlying health conditions are also entitled to SSP. Entitlement to SSP on this ground ends when the employee is notified that they are no longer advised to shield. The shielding advice has ended in England, with effect from 1 April 2021.

People who are required to self-isolate after travelling abroad are not entitled to SSP, unless they are ill.