Self-isolation for coronavirus (COVID-19)

Sick pay for self-isolation

Staff must be paid Statutory Sick Pay (SSP) if they cannot work while self-isolating because:

  • they have tested positive or have coronavirus (COVID-19) symptoms
  • someone in their household has symptoms or has tested positive for coronavirus
  • they've been advised to stay at home by their doctor because of a health condition
  • they've been told to self-isolate by a doctor or NHS 111
  • they've been told to self-isolate by a government 'test and trace' service, because they've been in close contact with someone who tested positive

If someone is off work for any of the reasons above, they're entitled to SSP from the first day. This is different to the usual rules for SSP where the first 3 days are unpaid.

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

Employers might offer more than SSP – 'contractual' sick pay.

Find out more about sick pay.

If the employee cannot work

If an employee or worker cannot work, they should tell their employer:

  • as soon as possible
  • the reason
  • how long they're likely to be off for

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.

They may be entitled to SSP for another reason, for example if they have coronavirus symptoms.

An employer can choose to pay the employee an amount equivalent to SSP, or a higher amount of pay, if they want to.

It's a good idea to check your organisation's policy to see sick pay rules.

Support for employers

Some employers can claim back up to 2 weeks' SSP they've paid to anyone because of coronavirus.

Find out more about claiming back SSP due to coronavirus on GOV.UK.

Last reviewed