Yesterday, the Department for Work and Pensions announced changes to Statutory Sick Pay for those that are required to self-isolate ahead of planned surgery.
In July the National Institute for Health and Care Excellence (NICE) published guidance relating to arrangements for planned care in hospitals. In order to help minimise the risk of coronavirus infections within hospital environments, patients may be asked to undergo a period of self-isolation in advance of their surgery. Ahead of planned hospital admissions, patients may be asked to self-isolate for a period of three days while those who are deemed to be of a higher risk may be required to self-isolate for a period of two weeks. Any advice on the self-isolation period prior to planned procedures will be based on a combination of individual and clinical risk factors.
Under regulations that were laid yesterday, and are effective from today, Statutory Sick Pay eligibility will be extended to patients who are advised to self-isolate ahead of surgery and are therefore unable to work. Statutory Sick Pay is paid from day one for employees who are sick or self-isolating due to coronavirus for 4 days or more. Following this change, where someone is advised to self-isolate for three days prior to surgery, and they are unable to work on the day of the surgery, they would be eligible for Statutory Sick Pay.
As the NHS resumes services disrupted by coronavirus these regulations are anticipated to assist as many as 300,000 patients per month with financial support to comply with health advice. Under the Statutory Sick Pay Rebate Scheme (SSPRS) small and medium sized companies may reclaim up to two weeks of Statutory Sick Pay costs per employee for sickness absences relating to coronavirus. For guidance on SSPRS please visit: https://www.gov.uk/guidance/claim-back-statutory-sick-pay-paid-to-employees-due-to-coronavirus-covid-19
A copy of letter that the Minister for Disabled People, Health & Work, Justin Tomlinson MP, sent to all MPs outlining this change can be found at the bottom of this article.