Self-isolation for coronavirus (COVID-19)

Sick pay for self-isolation

The rules around Statutory Sick Pay (SSP) for self-isolation for coronavirus (COVID-19) changed on 24 March 2022:

  • staff are no longer entitled to SSP for self-isolation, unless they're not well and are off sick
  • SSP is no longer paid from the first day of absence

Find out more about sick pay entitlement

Sick pay for self-isolation rules before 24 March

Before 24 March 2022, staff were entitled to Statutory Sick Pay (SSP) if they could not work because they were self-isolating for any of the following reasons:

  • they had COVID-19 symptoms or tested positive
  • someone in their household had symptoms or tested positive
  • they were told to self-isolate by an NHS test and trace service
  • they were advised by their doctor to stay at home before going into hospital for surgery

To be eligible for SSP, they must have been off work for at least 4 days in a row, including any of their usual non-working days.

They were entitled to be paid at least SSP for every day they were off work. This was different to the usual rules for SSP where the first 3 days are unpaid.

Employers might have offered more than SSP – 'contractual' sick pay. Check your employment contract or workplace's policy to see if your organisation paid more than SSP.

If there's a disagreement over Statutory Sick Pay

Employees can raise disagreements with their employer about:

  • if SSP should have been paid
  • how much SSP should have been paid

It's usually best to raise the problem informally first.

If employees cannot resolve the disagreement, they can contact HM Revenue and Customs (HMRC).

Contact the Statutory Payment Dispute Team at HMRC

Pay for self-isolating or quarantine after travel

Employees or workers are not entitled to Statutory Sick Pay (SSP) if they're in self-isolation or quarantine after travel abroad and they cannot work from home. But an employer can choose to pay them sick pay – at the same rate as SSP or a higher rate – if they want to.

Find out more about self-isolating after returning to the UK

Statutory Sick Pay Rebate Scheme

The Statutory Sick Pay Rebate Scheme closed on 17 March 2022. Employers had until 24 March 2022 to submit or amend any claims.

The scheme allowed some employers to claim back up to 2 weeks' Statutory Sick Pay (SSP) they paid to anyone because of COVID-19. It applied to employees who were off work on or after 21 December 2021.

Find out more about claiming back SSP due to COVID-19 on GOV.UK

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