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Coronavirus: new right to holiday carry over and further Government Statutory Sick Pay changes

Workers (including those on zero hours contracts) can now carry forward up to 4 weeks of untaken statutory leave into the next two years so that key work can continue.  Carry forward is triggered where it is ‘not reasonably practicable’ for the leave to be taken in the relevant year due to ‘the effects of coronavirus (including on the worker, the employer or the wider economy or society’). These Regulations are in force from 26 March and have immediate effect.

Further to our recent blog in which we set that those absent for corona related reasons will be paid SSP from day one and that smaller employers can claim back the first 14 days of such SSP payments, the Government has now published further Regulations.

These Regulations came into force on 28 March and apply retrospectively to all coronavirus related absences from 13 March 2020 and confirm that a person will be legally deemed to be incapable of work for corona related reasons, and entitled to SSP from day one of their absence, where they:

  • have Covid-19 symptoms however mild, and are staying at home for seven days, beginning with the day on which the symptoms started (day 1).
  • live with someone who is self-isolating (as above) and are staying at home for 14 days, beginning with day 1.
  • are already self-isolating in accordance with the second bullet (above), develop the symptoms of Covid-19, however mild, and are staying at home for seven days, beginning with the day the symptoms started.

Covid-19 symptoms are described as: ‘the recent onset of  — a continuous cough; a high temperature; both a continuous cough and a high temperature; or any other symptoms of coronavirus as may be specified by the Chief Medical Officer or one of the Deputy Chief Medical Officers in guidance as amended from time to time.”

We are aware that many employers and employees require advice on the government initiatives introduced in response to the pandemic. Should you wish to discuss your own situation, please contact your usual Morrisons adviser or, Mel McCrum, Partner in our Employment team by email at [email protected] 


Although correct at the time of publication, the contents of this newsletter/blog are intended for general information purposes only and shall not be deemed to be, or constitute, legal advice. We cannot accept responsibility for any loss as a result of acts or omissions taken in respect of this article. Please contact us for the latest legal position.

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