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CV-19 Employers Update

By 19th March 2020

The Covid-19 crisis continues to grow and with it a huge amount of uncertainty. We offer some advice for employers regarding self-isolation as of today but this may change and we will keep you updated.

Certain people need to self-isolate now, regardless of their travel history. All individuals who do self-isolate as a direct result of government guidance should be paid statutory sick pay (SSP) during their isolation provided they meet other qualifying criteria in place at that time. Currently, this is £94.25 and is set to increase to £95.85 from 6 April 2020.

The government continues to stress that, for many, coronavirus will be a mild infection and that most individuals should be fine to work through the illness from home. It also instructs that a cough may hang around for days or even weeks after a period of isolation if this was one of the symptoms that were present during their illness, but is unlikely to be contagious past seven days from the onset of their symptoms.

This announcement comes as part of the UK’s four-point plan to tackle the coronavirus outbreak, which has moved from the initial ‘containment’ phase to the ‘delay’ phase. Over the coming weeks, it is likely that further measures will be put into place that employers should be aware of that may impact their business. We’ve already been notified of school closures which may well mean staff needing time off to look after children.

As a result of this latest development, employers will likely see a significant number of individuals now needing to self-isolate and it is highly advisable that they prepare for this. Some employees may feel well enough to continue working despite showing symptoms of the flu; for example, a cough does not necessarily mean that they have the coronavirus.

Therefore, if an employee does need to self-isolate, employers may wish to consider asking the individual to work from home if possible on a short-term arrangement until their period of isolation has passed, if they feel well enough to do so. The government advises that, where possible, employees should be allowed to work from home anyway in order to minimise the risk of them coming into contact with the virus and spreading it.

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