Editor'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:
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
Updated to reflect that Regulations that disapply the need for SSP waiting days for coronavirus-related absences, are in force.
Updated with additional information on furloughing employees as an alternative to redundancy, following the publication of more details about the Coronavirus Job Retention Scheme on 26 March 2020.
Consultant editor Darren Newman discusses the changes to the statutory sick pay system brought about by the coronavirus pandemic, and suggests the current crisis may well result in a full review of the system.
We set out some possible scenarios related to absence and attendance that HR professionals may face during the coronavirus (COVID-19) crisis, and explain how they could tackle them. Additional scenarios (added on 19 March) now cover an employee being unable to work because their child's school has closed or an elderly relative has fallen ill, and an employee due to return to work has been stranded abroad.
The chancellor of the exchequer has announced £7 billion of extraordinary measures to help support businesses and individuals who will be affected by the covid-19 coronavirus outbreak in his first Budget.
Darren Newman discusses how employers can deal with the special circumstances created by the coronavirus.
HR and legal information and guidance relating to sickness absence and sick pay.