I can today announce that the Health Secretary will bring forward, as part of our emergency legislation measures, to allow the payment of Statutory Sick Pay from the very first day you are sick instead of four days under the current rules. No one should be penalised for doing the right thing. Prime Minister Boris Johnson
The government is not at the point yet where they are asking large numbers of people to self-isolate, but that may, of course, come if large numbers become infected with the Covid-19 virus.
The change will be a temporary measure to respond to the outbreak and will lapse when it is no longer required.
Statutory Sick Pay is paid by employers, who will know the reason their staff are giving for not being at work and already have some discretion to accept different forms of evidence as proof of sickness.
There is a range of support in place for those who do not receive Statutory Sick Pay, including Universal Credit and contributory Employment and Support Allowance. The move will be included in emergency legislation to deal with coronavirus.