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Update on COVID self-isolation rules thanks to Pennine HR

As we wait for full details of the Job Support Scheme to be released, new regulations were introduced which came into force from 29th September (England only).

 The Health Protection (Coronavirus, Restrictions) (Self-Isolation) (England) Regulations 2020 are complex.  They set out mandatory periods for self-isolation, and a duty to notify the Secretary of State of the names of people in the same household as anyone who has tested positive for Covid-19.

For employers, regulation 7 is particularly important:

 “It is an offence for an employer to knowingly permit a worker (including an agency worker) to attend any place other than where the individual is self-isolating.  This includes individuals who are required to self-isolate because they live with someone who has tested positive.  So if an employer knows a worker has tested positive (or lives with someone who has tested positive), it is now responsible for stopping the worker from working (unless they can work from home).  Any employer who fails to do so will face a fine, starting at £1,000.”

 One of the early legislation changes caused by the pandemic was payment of SSP from day one of absence for COVID, this would apply to self isolation absence – see below:

  • Any employee diagnosed with COVID-19 or required to self-isolate will be entitled to SSP from day one of their absence from work
  • Employees will not be required to get a fit note from their doctor to qualify for SSP in these circumstances
  • Employers with less than 250 employees will be able to reclaim up to 2 weeks’ SSP for each employee who qualifies as above
  • Employers will need to keep records of staff absences
  • SSP claims are made retrospectively

The contribution to the cost of sick pay will be welcome to many small employers. However, the current rate of SSP (£94.25) will be a small proportion of normal pay for many people and some companies may want to support their employees to a greater extent.

Steve Bradley and the team at Pennine HR would be pleased to answer any queries from CKMA members on 01484 841776 or info@penninehr.co.uk