If you’re off sick or told to stay home because of coronavirus
If you’re following government guidance because you have coronavirus symptoms, you’ll be considered unfit for work. You’ll also be considered unfit for work if you’re staying at home, or ‘self-isolating’, because you’ve been in contact with someone with coronavirus.
You’ll get statutory sick pay (SSP) if you’re considered unfit for work and are usually entitled to it – check if you’re entitled to SSP. It’s worth checking your contract – your employer might pay you more than SSP when you’re sick. You will get statutory sick pay from day one of your illness.
If you’re not sick but have been told to self-isolate and can’t work from home, you should still get your contractual sick pay on top of SSP. If you need to provide evidence to their employer that they need to stay at home due to coronavirus, they will be able to get it from the NHS 111 Online instead of having to get a fit note from their doctor (this is currently under development and will be made available soon).
You can also check your rights to sick pay if you get coronavirus on the Acas website. Acas provides free advice to employees and employers.
If you’re on a zero-hours contract
You might be eligible for SSP. The government has said that it will depend on how many hours you have worked regularly and the income received. You should contact your employer directly about this. This includes those who are self-isolating as a precautionary measure without symptoms.
If you’re self-employed
You can’t get SSP if you’re self-employed.
If you have to take time off work and you don’t get paid while you’re off, you might be entitled to claim benefits. If you’re already claiming benefits, you might get more money. If you already get benefits like Tax Credits or Housing Benefit, tell the office paying you that you can’t work because you’re sick. You might be entitled to more money while you’re off work. If you’re not claiming any benefits you might be entitled to claim Employment and Support Allowance (ESA) or Universal Credit to top up your income. Check if you can claim ESA. Check if you can claim Universal Credit.
Self-employed claimants will also not have a Minimum Income Floor (an assumed level of income) applied for a period of time within Universal Credit.