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What are the Covid statutory sick pay rules?

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·2-min read
What are the Covid statutory sick pay rules?
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Rules are changing for Covid Statutory Sick Pay (SSP) as workers take more time off due to contracting the Covid-19 virus.

Employees or people who are self-employed will receive later payments when self-isolating due to Covid-19 – with rule changes to other benefits too.

Rule revisions have come as part of the “Living with Covid” strategy announced in February.

What is Covid Statutory Sick Pay?

Covid Statutory Sick Pay is a weekly amount for employees who contract or have to self-isolate because of the Covid-19 virus.

The minimum amount is £96.35 but your employer may pay more.

This allowance is capped at 28 weeks.

What are the new Covid Statutory Sick Pay rules coming into effect this week?

New rules mean you will receive payment on day four of your leave – no longer day one from Thursday 24 March.

In March 2020, the government adjusted the eight-day minimum to claim SSP benefits to allow workers to claim on the first day of sick leave, but this has now been increased.

What other rules are being affected?

The Employment and Support Allowance (ESA) will also face changes, as those eligible must now wait seven days to claim their allowance.

People with illnesses or disabilities may apply for ESA help of up to £74.70 a week, subject to circumstance.

Eligibility for ESA requires you to be self-employed or to have worked as an employee and have paid enough National Insurance contributions, in the last two to three years.

Those on Jobseeker’s Allowance or SSP are not eligible to claim ESA.

Why are the rules changing?

The changes have come as part of the government’s ‘Living with Covid’ strategy announced marking the end of two years of lockdowns and testing.

Other changes that have also been implemented recently are that there is no legal requirement anymore to self-isolate even if you test positive for Covid.

Free Covid tests are also no longer available from 1 April.

Additionally, the £500 grant to help pay for bills if you were self isolating due to Covid came to an end in February.

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