Written by Rachel Cooke
Published on August 26, 2020
SSP & Shielding Clarifications

In our recent blog post ‘Shielding employees are no longer eligible for SSP’ we covered an ambiguous Government update issued via an Employer Bulletin which suggested that since the Government advice on shielding had changed; that employees who continued to be affected by shielding themselves or members of their household shielding would no longer be eligible to receive statutory sick pay (SSP).

However, a further clarification has since been released regarding the treatment of shielding in terms of SSP in areas that are affected by a local lockdown.

Shielding under local lockdown

Whilst on a national level shielding is no longer part of the Government guidance in response to the ongoing Coronavirus pandemic, clarification has been issued which means that where employees are affected by shielding in an area under local lockdown that they will be eligible to receive SSP.

Therefore, for employees who are affected by shielding in an area of local lockdown and are unable to carry out their work from home; where an employer pays SSP this will be recoverable under the Coronavirus Job Retention Scheme (CJRS).

Another reason for paying SSP from day one of absence

In addition to the above update, another reason for payment of SSP from day one of absence has been released as opposed to day four.

New guidance states that where someone within an employee’s support bubble starts to display symptoms of the Coronavirus employers are now obligated to pay SSP from the first day of their absence from work. This applies to all absences from 6th July 2020 onwards.

Who is SSP payable to?

With this additional reason added, it means that SSP in relation to the ongoing COVID-19 outbreak is payable in the following cases.

  • From day one of absence for employees affected by someone in their support bubble displaying symptoms of COVID-19
  • From day one of absence for employees who have tested positive for the Coronavirus
  • From day one of absence for employees who have had someone in their support bubble test positive for the Coronavirus
  • From day one of absence for employees displaying symptoms of COVID-19
  • From day one of absence for employees who are unable to carry out their work remotely and are advised to shield in an area of local lockdown

From day one of absence for employees who are unable to carry out their work remotely and have someone in their household who is advised to shield in an area of local lockdown

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