With the COVID19 Coronavirus starting to bite in the UK it is important that all people from across the spectrum including employers and employees do not unnecessarily panic, but rather take sensible steps to assess their position and circumstances. When it comes to the effects of the Coronavirus, understandably there are many questions with regards to pay and employment that people have. TechRound is here to provide you with all the information you need throughout the duration of COVID19 / Coronavirus. Questions that which are increasingly being asked include:
- Will I be paid in full if I self-isolate?
- Am I eligible for statutory sick pay if I need to self-isolate?
- If not, what are my options?
- What happens if I can’t pay my mortgage because of Coronavirus?
- What if I am self-employed?
As the situation surrounding the Coronavirus escalates in the UK, hundreds of employees around the UK cannot go to work and many others are facing up to 14 days of self-isolation. Many remain unsure whether their employers will offer any paid leave or if they are eligible for statutory sick pay. The concern continues to grow for those who find out that they are not eligible for sick pay (More Coronavirus / COVID19 news and information).
What Coronavirus Support Is Available For Me?
For some, employers will offer to pay workers their full salary during periods of illness. Employers may have also set a ‘contractual sick pay’ outlined in your contract. If this is not the case, but you are earning at least £118 per week before tax, you are legally entitled to statutory sick pay of £94.25 per week.
The Prime Minister has made clear that those self-isolating should receive sick-pay from day one and not be penalised for acting responsibly amid the pandemic and the Chancellor, Rishi Sunak has announced a plethora of measures to help businesses and affected industries such as travel, leisure and entertainment. There are also discussions with food outlets and delivery companies to offer help and assistance to some of the most vulnerable in society (read more).
However, this will only benefit those who are already eligible for statutory sick pay. Those who are self-employed and some on zero-hour contracts are amongst the two million British workers that are not eligible for any sick pay. Many are choosing to face risks of infection or deciding not to self-quarantine when advised to because of financial risks. Crucially, half of these workers are aged 65 and over and therefore some of the most vulnerable to the virus. To check if you are eligible, see Citizen’s Advice: https://www.citizensadvice.org.uk/work/rights-at-work/sick-pay/check-if-youre-entitled-to-sick-pay/
What Happens If I am Not Eligible For Statutory Sick Pay With COVID19?
If you do not qualify, there is other support available to you. The Government has announced that those who aren’t entitled to sick pay can claim employment and support allowance (ESA). The payment is less than the rate of statutory sick pay offering £73.10 per week or £57.90 for those under 25.
In these outstanding circumstance, you are still able to claim ESA if you’re not ill but are following advice to self-isolate and you can not work from home. You can also receive the allowance if you’re caring for a child who has coronavirus or has been told to stay at home. You’ll get paid from the first day that you’re off work and you won’t have to provide a doctor’s note. In order to be eligible for ESA, a person will have had to have made enough National Insurance contributions in recent years. To find out if you qualify for ESA see: https://www.citizensadvice.org.uk/benefits/sick-or-disabled-people-and-carers/employment-and-support-allowance/before-you-apply-for-esa/eligiblility-for-esa/