I know a number of you who would ordinarily work but have been asked to shield due to being in a high-risk group have ran into difficulties, particularly if your job role cannot be amended for you to work from home.
Previously you could only obtain sick pay if you were ill or self-isolating, the scheme did not cover those who received an NHS letter asking them to shield for 12 weeks.
Well I had raised this with BIES and Health and I am pleased to say a new Statutory Instrument came into force today which amends the sick pay regulations to cover those who have been asked to shield by the NHS.
Now instead of unpaid leave or Universal Credit, you can, if you wish, make a straight claim for sick pay through your employer.
The Statutory Sick Pay (General) (Coronavirus Amendment) (No3) Regulations 2020 (SI 427/2020) if you need to show this to your boss points out that those who are deemed unable to work by reason of coronavirus also includes:
- those defined in public health guidance as extremely vulnerable and at very high risk of severe illness from coronavirus because of an underlying health condition
- those who have been advised by notification sent to or in respect of that person in according with that guidance to follow rigorously shielding measures for the period specified in the notification.
I hope this makes things a little easier for those of you who have been asked to shield but may feel perfectly well because your condition is controlled such as cystic fibrosis, COPD or people with specific types of cancer.
Remember if you have been asked to shield, support is in place to help you pick up prescriptions, sort your shopping and obtain essentials, use the number listed on your letters or contact your local authority.
As always, I will keep pushing for changes where necessary to help us all get through this outbreak but you can find the latest information on www.gov.uk/coronavirus