Work closing? Here’s what you need to know about pay


With workplaces shutting left, right and centre amid the virus outbreak, staff have started asking questions about payment. 

It's not always possible to work remotely, and many employers are now facing the prospect of having to cease operations for several weeks.

So, where does this leave you?

The first step to take is to check your contract.


Most staff will be eligible for Statutory Sick Pay (SSP) - which entitles you to a minimum of £94.25 per week. However, your employer can choose to pay you your full salary if they desire.

If you believe you've come into contact with the virus, you should tell your employer immediately that you need to self-isolate.

In these special circumstances, you'll be granted sick pay from your first day of absence (rather than day four, as is standard).

Sick notes from doctors will not be necessary during this period. However, if your employer is reluctant to grant you time off, you should contact NHS 111, who will be able to guide you further and possibly provide alternative proof that you cannot attend the workplace.


Around a million people in the UK have also expressed concern about claiming SSP due to being on zero-hour or casual contracts. However, in some instances you can qualify for sick pay even if you work part-time.

To get SSP, you'll have had to earned an average of £118 per week for the past eight weeks.

If your employer will not grant you SSP, it's worth contacting Citizens Advice, who may be able to help you with your case.

For the self-employed, Employment and Support Allowance (EMA) funds may be available. Visit to learn more about claiming.

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