The Statutory Sick Pay (General) (Coronavirus Amendment) Regulations 2020

13 March 2020

Emergency legislation has been passed via a statutory instrument to amend the Statutory Sick Pay (General) Regulations 1982, to confirm that a person who is self-isolating in line with government advice relating to coronavirus, is deemed as being incapable of work.

This follows on from Chancellor of the Exchequer, Rishi Sunak’s announcement that Statutory Sick Pay (SSP) would be payable to not only those testing positive for COVID-19 or displaying its symptoms, but also to those individuals advised to self-isolate.

Regulation 2(1) has been amended to include the following in the definition of those deemed incapable of work:

“He is isolating himself from other people in such a manner as to prevent infection or contamination with coronavirus disease, in accordance with guidance published by Public Health England, NHS National Services Scotland or Public Health Wales and effective on 12th March 2020; and by reason of that isolation is unable to work.”

 This has confirmed as a temporary measure, applicable for a period of eight months. The legislation is due to expire in eight months, on 12 November 2020.

CIPP comment

 The statutory instrument does not suspend the three waiting days that currently need to be observed prior to the payment of SSP, so the CIPP hopes to see a further update that incorporates this in the very near future.  Nor does the legislation refer to the recent announcement that businesses with less than 250 staff as at 28 February 2020, will be able to recover up to 14 days SSP from the government.