Joseph Beams discusses how much you should pay employees that are self-isolating

The Government have recent announced that from the 16 August 2021, anyone that has been in close contact with someone who has tested positive for Covid-19 will no longer have to self-isolate if they have both vaccinations.

Until 16 August 2021, it is a legal requirement to self-isolate if you test positive for Covid-19, or have been notified by Track and Trace to self-isolate.

With restrictions lifting, more people are likely to receive messages from Track and Trace, leading to a rise in people self-isolating between 19 July and 16 August 2021.

Options for employees that are required to self-isolate?

By having staff self-isolating, this could cause disruption to businesses. A recurring question asked by staff is how much employees should receive, if they are absent from work, due to self-isolation. The options will largely vary and it is entirely dependent on the circumstances of the employee.

The employee can work from home and continue to be entitled to their normal rate of pay, subject to:

  1. The employee feeling well and able to work; and
  2. The employee works in a role that enables them to work from home.

If the employee is unwell and/or it is not possible to carry out their role from home:

  1. The employee may consider taking contractual sick pay. If Statutory Sick Pay is paid, the employer may be eligible to claim back up to two weeks Statutory Sick Pay for the employee.
  2. If the employee is not eligible for Statutory Sick Pay, or they are feeling well but have been told to self-isolate:
  • Provide the employee with an option of taking annual leave.
  • Consideration could also be given to the furlough scheme, however, this scheme will be coming to an end by September 2021.
  • An agreement could be put in place for unpaid annual leave, however, this is unlikely to be a favorable option.
  1. Test and Trace Support Payment Scheme: the employee may be eligible to claim financial support under this scheme, however, it is the employee’s responsibility to apply and not directly related to their employment.

For further information on this topic or on any other legal area, please contact John Szepietowski or Kay Stewart at Audley Chaucer Solicitors on 01372 303444 or email or visit our Linkedin page.

Joseph Beams

This information was correct as at September 2021

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