0370 270 6000

already registered?

Please sign in with your existing account details.

need to register?

Register to access exclusive content, sign up to receive our updates and personalise your experience on brownejacobson.com.

Privacy statement - Terms and conditions

new statutory sick pay regulations

1 April 2020

Please note: the information contained in this legal update is correct as of the original date of publication

The Statutory Sick Pay (Coronavirus) (Suspension of Waiting Days and General Amendment) Regulations 2020 have now been published and came into force on 28 March 2020.

The new Regulations remove the three-day waiting period for SSP and provide more clarity for employers as to when this will apply. The clarity comprises of 3 main elements:

  1. It creates certainty over when an employee can claim statutory sick pay in relation to coronavirus and sets out specific examples.
  2. It clearly sets out the symptoms of coronavirus but allows for changes without the need for new regulations.
  3. It removes the 8-month time limit included within the previous recent SSP amendment regulations.

1. Isolating due to Coronavirus

The Regulations includes specific scenarios as to when individuals can claim statutory sick pay. These include where:

  • An individual has symptoms of coronavirus (however mild) and is staying at home for 7 days beginning with the day symptoms started.
  • An individual who lives with someone who has symptoms and is staying home to isolate for 14 days.
  • An individual who was within b) above but who is now isolating as they have developed symptoms of coronavirus, and is staying at home for 7 days, beginning with the day the symptoms started.

Employees will need to fit into one of these scenarios to be able to claim SSP.

2. Symptoms of Coronavirus

The Regulations also sets out the symptoms of coronavirus. As expected, they reiterate the current government guidance of a continuous cough; a high temperature; and both a continuous cough and a high temperature. However, the definition also includes any other symptoms as may be specified by the Chief Medical Officer. The definition may therefore be subject to change if new information about the virus becomes available or if the virus was to evolve or mutate.

3. Removal of the 8 month time limit

The Regulations remove the 8-month expiry date imposed by the changes earlier this month. The new changes to SSP are therefore in force until further notice with plans to keep this under constant review. This may well indicate that the current Government view is that the situation will continue for a significant period.

Although this legislation implements what was promised some time ago, employers now have some certainty about what SSP they should be paying. As indicated within the Coronavirus Act 2020, these Regulations are retrospective, covering the particular types of self-isolation on or after 13 March 2020. Employers who therefore previously paid sick-pay starting from day 4 for these absences will therefore need to ensure that a back-payment is made, covering the first three days.

Coronavirus support

We are helping across business, health, education and government sectors:

related opinions

Furloughed employees entitled to full pay for redundancy purposes

The government has brought in new legislation to ensure that any employees who have been furloughed will have their statutory redundancy pay calculated based on their full-time wages as opposed their furloughed pay in the event that they are made redundant.

View blog

Return to work – all change or more of the same?

The Government has announced that its workplace guidance will change with effect from 1 August and its “work from home” message will be removed.

View blog

Will there be a return of employment tribunal fees?

The Government is reportedly considering the reinstatement of tribunal fees in respect of employment claims.

View blog

Redundancy: competitive interview processes

In this case, the Respondent’s appeal was unsuccessful. In the first instance, the decision that it unfairly dismissed various claimants following the closure of the school where they worked. The Claimants were unsuccessful in applying for substantially similar positions at a new school that opened at the same site. Read more here.

View blog

mailing list sign up



Select which mailings you would like to receive from us.

Sign up