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Public Health England (PHE) has updated its stay at home guidance to provide for a minimum isolation period of ten days (formerly seven days) for people with symptoms of Covid-19 or those who have received a positive test result.  Employers will have to be aware of and ready to accommodate the minimum ten-day isolation period whenever staff develop symptoms of Covid-19, test positive or live with someone who develops symptoms or tests positive.

The Statutory Sick Pay (General) (Coronavirus Amendment) (No. 5) Regulations 2020 came into force on 5 August and confirm that a person isolating as an individual or as part of a household in accordance with the PHE guidance will be deemed incapable for work under the Statutory Sick Pay (General) Regulations 1982.  Provided that the usual eligibility criteria for SSP are met, employees complying with the extended isolation requirements will be entitled to SSP for the duration of their isolation.

Meanwhile the Statutory Sick Pay (General) (Coronavirus Amendment) (No. 6) Regulations 2020 came into force on 26 August, extending the entitlement to SSP to employees who:

  • Have been notified in writing by a registered medical practitioner (or other person or body permitted to make the notification) that they are to undergo a surgical or other hospital procedure.
  • Have been advised to stay at home for a period of up to 14 days before their admission date to hospital for the operation.
  • Stay at home in accordance with that advice.

The entitlement to SSP will only apply to those who cannot work from home while self-isolating prior to an operation.