Staying at Home
If you have symptoms of coronavirus infection (COVID-19), however mild, stay at home and do not leave your house for 7 days from when your symptoms started.
If you live with others and you are the first in the household to have symptoms of coronavirus, then you must stay at home for 7 days, but all other household members who remain well must stay at home and not leave the house for 14 days. The 14-day period starts from the day when the first person in the house became ill.
See the Stay at Home Guidance for more information.
You can get £94.25 per week Statutory Sick Pay (SSP) if you’re too ill to work. It’s paid by your employer for up to 28 weeks.
If you are staying at home because of COVID-19 you can now claim SSP. This includes individuals who are caring for people in the same household and therefore have been advised to do a household quarantine.
To check your sick pay entitlement, you should talk to your employer, and visit the Statutory Sick Pay (SSP) page for more information.
Job Retention Scheme
If your employer intends to access the Coronavirus Job Retention Scheme, they will discuss with you becoming classified as a furloughed worker. This would mean that you are kept on your employer’s payroll, rather than being laid off.
To qualify for this scheme, you should not undertake work for them while you are furloughed. This will allow your employer to claim a grant of up to 80% of your wage for all employment costs, up to a cap of £2,500 per month.
You will remain employed while furloughed. Your employer could choose to fund the differences between this payment and your salary, but does not have to.
If your salary is reduced as a result of these changes, you may be eligible for support through the welfare system, including Universal Credit.
The Government intends for the Coronavirus Job Retention Scheme to run for at least 3 months from 1 March 2020, but has said it will extend if necessary.
Reduction in your working hours
Your employer can ask you to stay at home or take unpaid leave if there’s not enough work for you.
A lay-off is if you’re off work for at least 1 working day. Short-time working is when your hours are cut.
How long you can be laid off
There’s no limit for how long you can be laid off or put on short-time. You could apply for redundancy and claim redundancy pay if it’s been:
- 4 weeks in a row
- 6 weeks in a 13-week period
Lay-off pay entitlement and short-time working payments
You should get your full pay unless your contract allows unpaid or reduced pay lay-offs.
If you’re unpaid, you’re entitled to guarantee pay.
Extra work or claiming benefits
You can take on another job while you’re laid off or on short-time (unless your contract says you must not).
- get your employer’s agreement
- make sure you’re not working for a competitor
- make sure you’re available for your original job once the lay-off or short-time ends