Self-Isolation, Screening and PAS: Answers to Employers’ Questions

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The UK could be on the cusp of a second wave of coronavirus. Results from a population-based study suggest the R number for England is now 1.7, with infections doubling every eight days. Local lockdowns are in place in several regions and this week the ‘rule of six’ came into effect. Jo Moseley answers nine questions employers have asked about self-isolation, test and trace and statutory sick pay.

  1. What are the self-isolation rules?

The general rules are set out here. You should self-isolate immediately if:

  • Have you got some symptoms coronavirus (a high temperature, new continuous cough, or loss or change in your sense of smell or taste)
  • you have tested positive for coronavirus
  • you live with someone who has symptoms or has tested positive
  • someone in your”support bubble” has symptoms or has tested positive
  • you are told to self-isolate by NHS Test and Trace
  • you are arriving in the UK from a country at high risk of coronavirus.

If you have symptoms or have tested positive for coronavirus, you will generally need to self-isolate for at least 10 days.

  1. Should we pay staff who isolate themselves?

The following employees should receive Statutory Sick Pay (SSP), provided they meet the other eligibility requirements:

  • anyone who self-isolates because they have tested positive for Covid-19
  • anyone waiting for test results because they are suspected of having Covid
  • anyone with symptoms of Covid
  • anyone living with someone with symptoms of Covid
  • anyone who is in the same social support bubble as someone with symptoms or who has tested positive
  • anyone who has been told to self-isolate by NHS Test and Trace or public health officials
  • anyone advised to stay at home for a period of 14 days being admitted to hospital for the purpose of undergoing surgery or other hospital procedures.

The usual “waiting days” rules do not apply and SSP is payable from the first day of absence. If you are

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