To ask the Secretary of State for Work and Pensions, if she will raise the level of statutory sick pay to protect people affected by covid-19 outbreak.
11 January 2021
This government has a strong safety net that helps people who are facing hardship and are unable to support themselves financially and we have taken steps to strengthen that safety net as part of the government’s response to the pandemic.
Statutory Sick Pay (SSP) provides a minimum level of income for employees when they are sick or incapable of work. For those who are sick, self-isolating or shielding due to coronavirus, SSP is now payable from the first day of work missed, rather than the fourth. Some employers may also decide to pay more, and for longer, through Occupational Sick Pay.
SSP is just one part of our welfare safety net and our wider government offer to support people in times of need. Where an individual’s income is reduced while off work sick and they require further financial support, for example where they are not eligible for SSP, they may be able to claim Universal Credit and new style Employment and Support Allowance, depending on their personal circumstances.
Working people on low incomes who are required to remain at home by NHS Test and Trace to help stop the spread of the virus and cannot work from home could be eligible for a £500 payment to financially support them while self-isolating.
- Individuals are eligible for SSP, from day one – rather than day 4, where they are unable to work because they are:
o Sick, displaying symptoms or have tested positive for coronavirus
o self-isolating because they, or someone in their household (including an extended or linked household), is displaying symptoms or has tested positive for coronavirus
o self-isolating because they have been notified by the NHS or public health authority that they have come into contact with someone who has coronavirus.
o Self-isolating because they have been advised to do so by their doctor or health clinician before being admitted to hospital for planned or elective surgery
o shielding because they live or work in an area where shielding is reintroduced and they have been advised to do so by their doctor or health authority
Other SSP eligibility criteria will apply.