The Department for Work and Pensions (DWP) has confirmed that shielding is still grounds for payment of Statutory Sick Pay (SSP) in areas where a local lockdown is being imposed.
Reward Strategy previously reported that shielding was no longer a valid reason for SSP as of August 1, but conflicting government guidance led for this to be clarified.
Shielding has now been paused at a national level and guidance for employees who fall into this category has been amended, which means:
However, those shielding because of a local lockdown are still eligible for SSP.
More recently, the government added an additional reason for payment of SSP from day one of absence, as opposed to day four:
Where someone in an employee’s support bubble starts displaying COVID-19 symptoms, employers must pay SSP from the first qualifying day that they are absent from work. They must be off for a minimum of four days in a row, but waiting days do not need to be served prior to payment. This will be applicable for absences commencing from July 6 2020 onwards.
SSP is payable from day one of absence for employees who self-isolated from March 13 2020, for those who shielded on or after April 16 2020 and for employees contacted via test and trace from May 28 2020 onwards.