NHS Test & Trace – Entitlement to Statutory Sick Pay

People who are self-isolating or have been told to self-isolate under the new ‘Test and Trace’ system, launched yesterday, will qualify for Statutory Sick Pay (SSP).

The new NHS Test and Trace service launched to help identify, contain and control Coronavirus is the latest initiative in the government’s recovery strategy. New guidance means those who have been in close contact with someone who tests positive will be contacted to share their recent interactions and must isolate for 14 days even if they have no symptoms, to avoid unknowingly spreading the virus.

Health Secretary Matt Hancock said “If you are instructed by the NHS, for public health reasons, to stay at home then that is the equivalent in employment law to being ill and it is very important that employers are flexible about this.”

With the government urging employers to encourage their staff to follow the ‘test and trace’ rules and to support them in staying away from work, employers should start thinking about contingency planning as this could result in significant numbers of employees being forced to take 2 weeks off work without notice.

We recommend that you review your COVID-19 risk assessment in light of the ‘test and trace’ system and that you update your policies to make it clear to all employees that they must inform you if they have been asked to self-isolate and that they must comply with this request.

For employment law advice and assistance contact Sarah Collier, Partner & Head of Employment at scollier@kbl.co.uk.  To receive free HR and employment law updates straight into your inbox, you can sign up here!