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Covid-19: Sick leave and time off to look after dependants

Version 2. 20 March 2020.

The following is based upon advice from the TUC, ACAS, and the CIPD:

  • If an employee is sick, normal sick pay rules should apply.
  • If an employee is asked to not come to work after coming into contact with someone who has coronavirus, they should be paid in full as normal. This should not count towards future sick pay because the employee is not sick and is being asked not to come to work.
  • This would also apply in circumstances where the employer asks the employee not to come into work because the employer fears the employee may have come into contact with coronavirus, eg an employee’s children’s school has closed after an outbreak, then the employee should continue to be paid as normal.
  • If an employee has to take time off to look after a dependent, eg if their children’s school has closed as a precaution, then it should at first be treated in the same way as any other previous emergency situation. There is no statutory right to time off with pay but precedent and local policy could apply, especially in the first couple of days. After more than two days, it is likely that the employee would be asked to book leave to cover staying at home, or be asked to take special unpaid leave or unpaid family leave.

NHS Staff Council statement

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