When do you need to pay your staff affected by coronavirus?
That’s not straightforward. We’ve already had one client with an employee returning from China which made us research the question. With cases reported in other European countries the question is likely to be asked more frequently.
We did some research. This is the general guidance we have gathered. Note that it is only guidance and should not be relied on as being advice or recommendation. If you have a specific query, it should be referred to an HR or Employment Law specialist. We can help with a referral.
A member of staff diagnosed with coronavirus
This is pretty straightforward for you. The employee is sick and should provide you with a sick note. The normal rules for dealing with illness apply. The employee should be paid Statutory Sick Pay (SSP) in accordance with the regulations or in accordance with their employment contract – whichever provides the greater amount.
A member of staff is quarantined or told to self-isolate
There isn’t an obligation to pay them. The individual isn’t sick so no Sick Note will be issued. Whether or not you pay for the time off is a matter of choice for you. If they aren’t sick, they may be able to work from home.
Best to discuss the situation and options with them before deciding.
I am wary about a member of staff who has been abroad returning to work
If you choose to send an employee home or stop them returning to work as a precaution, they are still entitled to full pay unless your contract says otherwise.
A member of staff is planning to travel to an affected area
If they are doing this in their own time; perhaps on holiday visiting family, there is very little you can do. The travel will be in their own time and cost. There are circumstances when you can cancel annual leave, but you will probably annoy the employee, particularly if they have already paid for travel, accommodation etc.
The above are just some of the queries relating to coronavirus which have already been asked. There are many more. If you think you have an issue, contact us – 01509 816150. We are not HR specialists but we know someone who is.