A woman at home, ill during coronavirus

Coronavirus: Sick Pay and Benefits

Coronavirus covid-19 update: For the latest specific advice on coronavirus covid-19, please see the NHS and UK government website. In the current climate, East Dunbartonshire Citizens Advice Bureau understand you may be wary of accessing our services face to face. So we are happy to answer any queries by telephone or email, if you do not wish to come along to any of the offices or outreach points.

It is hard to escape the news and updates on the Coronavirus. Even those who have stepped back from TV, social media and other outlets can hardly avoid conversations on it. Events, sporting gatherings and other popular pastimes are being cancelled seemingly every hour. So its effects in culture are sure to last a long time. But at the front of most people’s minds is, will I still get sick pay if I have to self-isolate due to Coronavirus?

Whilst it is having an impact on people’s health, Coronavirus is also having an impact on people’s incomes and their ability to pay bills, afford food and live as they are used to. In these conditions, it is important to be able to find some answers to questions like will I get paid if I need to self-quarantine? What benefits am I entitled to during the Coronavirus outbreak? What rights do I have?

Coronavirus and sick pay

The most important thing to do at this time is to follow the advice of the government and NHS. Please be aware that this advice can change quickly. To understand the symptoms of the Coronavirus and decide if you should self-isolate, please see the NHS website. You can find the latest updates on the Coronavirus from the UK Government here.

If you decide you need to self isolate, then you will receive statutory sick pay. It may be that your employer offers more than this. You can find out what you are entitled to by checking your employment contract, or asking your HR department.

If an employer needs to shut their business down, you will still be entitled to pay. It may be they will ask you to work from home instead.

A woman working from home

Can I be forced to use my annual leave?

An employer is allowed to tell employees when to take annual leave. It may be that if a business has to close down for a short time, all employees are told to use their holiday allowance. However employers must give enough notice to do this. For example, if they plan on closing for five days, they must give employers double this notice. So employees must be told ten days in advance of the business closing.

What if I need time off to look after my children?

Under these circumstances, employees are entitled to time off work to help a dependant in an emergency. However, you might not get paid for this time. Check your employment contract or seek advice from your HR department to clarify your own personal situation. 

What if I have other questions?

Should you have any further queries about your rights with regards to the impact Coronavirus is having on the UK, please refer to this information from ACAS, the Advisory, Conciliation and Arbitration Service. If you are still unsure, please feel free to email or give us a call here at East Dunbartonshire Citizens Advice Bureau. 

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