19 March 2020 #Employment
On the 13th April 2020 the Statutory Sick Pay (General) (Coronavirus Amendment) Regulations 2020 comes into force. This follows the announcements from Rishi Sunak’s inaugural budget outlined earlier this week; “the best way to support people is to protect their jobs – and we do that by supporting our businesses”.
Key to this proposal is the amendment to Regulation 2 of the Statutory Sick Pay (General) Regulations 1982 which has amended the definition of “persons deemed incapable of work”. The amendment, which will remain in force for a period of 8 months, has extended the definition to include those who are self-isolating themselves:
“from other people in such a manner as to prevent infection or contamination with coronavirus disease, in accordance with guidance published by the Regional Agency for Public Health and Social Well-being and effective on 12th March 2020.”
This will extend the cover of statutory sick pay (SSP) to those who are social-distancing but unable to work from home due to the nature of their employment. There are likely to be further significant changes to SSP rules in the coming days. Whilst the Chancellor acknowledged the need to help the circa 5 million self-employed (currently not eligible for SSP) in his speech, there has yet to be a formal announcement. However, as of 18th March 2020, a government petition has been signed by over 500,000 individuals demanding a re-assessment of their SSP eligibility.