We are in unprecedented times with the outbreak of coronavirus around the world.
A number of staff have asked what they should do if they have symptoms. They have also asked if they are entitled to SSP if they are ill or need to self-isolate.
This web page answers some of these questions.
What should I do if I, or any of my household, have any COVID-19 symptoms?
If you have any COVID-19 symptoms (a high temperature, losing your normal sense of taste or smell, or a new / persistent cough) and you live alone, you should self-isolate at home for 7 days.
If you live with others, and anyone in the household has COVID-19 symptoms (a high temperature, or a new or persistent cough), the entire household should self-isolate together for 14 days.
You should not go to a GP surgery, pharmacy or hospital.
If you are not getting better after seven days, go to the NHS 111 online coronavirus service.
Do not call NHS 111 unless you cannot get help from NHS 111 online.
Inform your VGC line manager immediately if you begin a period of self-isolation. You should also email our HR department on firstname.lastname@example.org to log this with Alice Dupree. If you want to get statutory sick pay, make sure you email the correct NHS form – see below.
What should I do if I have been in contact with someone who has COVID-19 symptoms?
If you have just met someone socially who you later find out has symptoms, you do not need to self-isolate, but try to keep a reasonable distance away from other people. Wash your hands carefully and regularly. If you start to show symptoms, then you should self-isolate.
When should I contact NHS 111?
Use the NHS 111 online service if you:
- cannot cope with your symptoms at home
- your condition gets worse
- or your symptoms do not get better after 7 days.
If you are given any advice from NHS 111 that is relevant to your co-workers please email this to us at email@example.com
All staff on a PAYE contract with VGC are entitled to SSP in line with the current government guidelines. These guidelines have recently changed, and payment can start from day 1 of the absence period.
You will be entitled to SSP if you are self-isolating because you have been advised by
- NHS 111
- official COVID-19 guidelines
- a medical professional
- your employer.
You will be paid SSP from day one of your notification. The SSP payment is £94.25 per week (five days) to the end of March. It will go up to £95.85 per week from April 2020.
If you are on a CIJC WRA contract of employment you may qualify for Industry Sick Pay (ISP). The existing qualifying conditions for ISP apply.
If you are not eligible for sick pay, and you are not working because of government advice, you can apply for Universal Credit.
How do I claim SSP for COVID-19 related absence?
You must report absence from work in the normal way through your VGC line manager. Please email firstname.lastname@example.org to log this.
To claim SSP, you must complete a self-certification (SC2) or alternatively the new NHS form for an isolation note and forward it to email@example.com . This certificate is valid for the first seven days of absence.
SSP payments can only be processed after HR has received your completed self-certification form. SSP payments will be made into your bank account the week after receipt of the form.
If you are still unwell after seven days, you must self-isolate for a further seven days (14 in total). You must send VGC the isolation certificate from the NHS 111 website for the second period of seven days of self-isolation.
Please remember to keep in regular contact with your VGC line manager or HR department, and send updates on any relevant advice.