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Sickness absence and sick pay

Noelle MurphyEditor's message: The unprecedented global spread of coronavirus (COVID-19) means that the focus on sickness absence and sick pay is greater than ever - employers now also have to deal with employees who have to self-isolate to prevent infection or contamination.

The Government has introduced measures to address this. From 13 March 2020, employees who:

  • have isolated themselves to prevent infection or contamination with coronavirus (COVID-19), in accordance with guidance published by Public Health England, NHS National Services Scotland, Public Health Wales or the Regional Agency for Public Health and Social Well-being effective on 16 March 2020; and
  • are unable to work because they have self-isolated,

are deemed to be incapable of work and are therefore entitled to statutory sick pay (provided that they otherwise qualify).

Statutory sick pay will also be payable from day one (rather than day four) where an employee is unable to work due to coronavirus. The Government intends to introduce legislation that will apply this measure retrospectively from 13 March 2020.

Noelle Murphy, senior HR practice editor

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About this topic

HR and legal information and guidance relating to sickness absence and sick pay.

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Sickness absence and sick pay: key resources

Sickness absence and sick pay: quick links

Access our policies and documents resources on sickness and sick pay.