If an employee cannot attend work due to sickness, they are usually required to inform their line manager before they are due to start work (or as soon as possible if this is not practical) and provide medical evidence (eg a sick note from their doctor) for sickness of more than 7 days.
Government guidance no longer requires people with COVID-19 to self-isolate. However, in light of the ongoing Coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic, employees should consider staying at home and avoiding contact with other people if they develop COVID-19. If an employee is a close contact of someone with COVID-19, they should consider staying home if going to work might risk infecting people at high-risk of becoming severely ill if they contract COVID-19.
For more information, read the Government’s guidance for people with COVID-19 and their contacts.
Health and social care staff should arrange to take a PCR test if they develop COVID-19 symptoms. If they test positive, they should stay off work until they feel well and they have returned multiple negative LFD tests. For more information on these requirements, read the Government guidance for staff in health and social care settings.
Where staff work with clinically extremely vulnerable people, the designated person in the workplace needs to carry out risk assessments before they return to work.
If eligible, employees would normally receive Statutory Sick Pay (SSP) where:
they have a period of sickness absence from work of at least 4 calendar days in a row, and
3 'waiting days' (ie days on which they would usually be required to work) have passed
However, where absences relate to COVID-19, SSP is payable from day 1 if an employee has been off work due to COVID-19 for at least 4 days. Self-isolation can include isolating at home on a doctor’s advice in preparation for a surgery. From 24 March 2022 workers in England will not be entitled to SSP when self-isolating unless they are genuinely unwell.
Alternatively, you may pay employees contractual sick pay as set out in their contracts of employment.