The government has announced a number of funding and support measures to help those affected by the COVID-19 virus outbreak. A significant number of the measures are designed to help provide financial support at this most difficult time.
One of the main measures announced relates to the provision of sick pay. You are entitled to receive £94.25 per week Statutory Sick Pay (SSP) if you’re too ill to work. It’s paid by your employer for up to 28 weeks. The payment of SSP will be from Day 1 (not Day 4) if you are absent from work due to sickness or need to stay at home due to COVID-19.
If you have COVID-19 or have been advised to stay at home, you can get an ‘isolation note’ by visiting NHS 111 online. This replaces the need for a ‘fit note’, sometimes called a ‘sick note’ after 7 days of sickness absence. Isolation notes will also be accepted by Jobcentre Plus as evidence of your inability to attend.
If you cannot claim SSP, for example if you are self-employed or earning below the Lower Earnings Limit of £118 per week you will have easier access to Universal Credits or the new style Employment and Support Allowance.
If you are eligible the Employment and Support Allowance, it will now be payable from day 1 of sickness, rather than day 8. This applies if you have COVID-19 or are advised to stay at home.