Employee rights and coronavirus
If you are self-isolating because of Government advice, ask your employer what options are available to you. Check their policy on:
- paid sick leave in your contract
- statutory sick pay
- furloughing on 80% pay (GOV.UK)
- working from home
- reasonable adjustments
Do you need to self-isolate?
You may need to self-isolate because:
- you've been told to by a doctor or NHS 111 because of an underlying health condition
- you have coronavirus
- you have coronavirus symptoms, such as a high temperature or new continuous cough
- someone in your household has coronavirus or coronavirus symptoms
Underlying health conditions
You must self-isolate if you have a condition that makes you clinically vulnerable to coronavirus. You should not leave home to work.
If you’re not sure if you should self-isolate, ask your GP or hospital doctor.
If you need to self-isolate because you or someone you live with have coronavirus or coronavirus symptoms you should be able to take sick leave and keep your job. But tell your employer as soon as possible.
Depending on your employer’s policy and your contract, your employer may ask you to take the paid sick leave in your contract or statutory sick pay (SSP). Ask your employer about their sick leave policy.
If your employer needs evidence, ask the NHS for an Isolation Note.
Statutory Sick Pay (SSP)
You can now get SSP from the first day you’re self-isolating because of coronavirus. This began from 13 March. You can also get SSP if you need to care for someone else who is self-isolating.
With SSP you can get £94.25 per week and your employer pays this for up to 28 weeks. To be eligible for SSP you need to earn an average of at least £118 per week.
If you’re not eligible for SSP, you can claim:
If you are eligible, you will get New Style Employment and Support Allowance from day 1 of sickness if you either:
- have coronavirus
- are advised to stay at home
If you’re self-isolating but you’re not sick
Ask if you can work from home instead of taking sick leave. You might do this because:
- the Government and NHS told you to, due to an underlying health condition, but you do not have coronavirus
- someone in your household is a high risk or extremely vulnerable person
- someone in your household has coronavirus but you do not
Your employer should try to make reasonable adjustments for you to continue to work. For example:
- providing IT and equipment so you can work at home
- flexible working to manage childcare or look after an extremely vulnerable person
Furlough on 80% pay
Your employer might be able to keep you on the payroll if:
- they’re unable to continue to operate
- they have no work for you to do because of coronavirus
This is known as being ‘on furlough’. You could get paid 80% of your wages, up to a monthly cap of £2,500. If your salary is reduced because of furloughing, you may be eligible for benefits.
Both you and your employer must agree to put you on furlough. You can claim on any type of contract, including a zero-hour contract or a temporary contract. But you cannot furlough if you are self-employed.
Furlough and sick leave
If you’re on sick leave or self-isolating because of coronavirus, speak to your employer about whether you’re eligible. You should get SSP while you’re sick but you can be furloughed after you're no longer on sick leave.
If you are shielding an extremely vulnerable person because of guidance from the Government, you should speak to your employer about whether they plan to place staff on furlough.
Benefits if you cannot work
You may be able to claim Universal Credit, Employment and Support Allowance (ESA) or other benefits if you need to go into self-isolation and are unable to work.
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