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Sick Pay: Coronavirus

Question for Department for Work and Pensions

UIN HL12315, tabled on 19 January 2021

To ask Her Majesty's Government what assessment they have made of the impact of increasing statutory sick pay on compliance with COVID-19 self-isolation requirements; and following any such assessment, what plans they have to increase statutory sick pay.

Answered on

27 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.

As part of strengthening this safety net we have made Statutory Sick Pay (SSP) payable from the first day of sickness absence from work, rather than the fourth – where an individual is self-isolating or shielding due to coronavirus and meets all SSP eligibility conditions.

Statutory Sick Pay (SSP) provides a minimum level of income for employees when they are sick or incapable of work. Employers are legally required to pay SSP to eligible employees who are off work sick or incapable of work, where employees meet the qualifying conditions. 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, 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