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The REC has advised: "SSP doesn’t apply to vulnerable people who are ‘shielding’, nor to those choosing to stay at home to look after someone, e.g. a dependant. The government guidance makes it clear that if someone is ‘shielding’ in line with their guidance or is caring for someone, they can be furloughed if they meet the Job Retention Scheme rules.
SSP is only applicable when an employee (including an agency worker on a contract for services) is unable to work because they are sick or injured or treated as being sick under the SSP regulations.
In relation to Coronavirus, that means:
• Self-isolating for 7 days because they have symptoms
• Self-isolating for 14 days because someone they live with has symptoms
• They were self-isolating for 14 days because someone in their house had symptoms but now they themselves have symptoms and have to self-isolate for 7 days from the onset of symptoms.
The REC’s guidance to SSP during Coronavirus explains what ‘symptoms’ mean and when SSP is payable. Note that an employee will still need to meet the normal eligibility criteria to get SSP, the only difference is that SSP related to Coronavirus is payable from day one of absence not day four.
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