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Coronavirus And Your Rights

Coronavirus And Your Rights

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As the Coronavirus continues to rampage across the globe, it is clear that we are all in for a very tough time.From predictions about a global recession to a international travel bans, it is clear that these are troubling and unprecedented times. Much has been made about the need for social distancing and encourging people to work from home more.

This could signal a big change moving forward about our attitudes to work and flexible working. What is not being openly discussed is how the virus and the fight against it affects your employment rights. What are your rights if you or anyone in your household needs to self isolate? Are you entitled to sick pay? Let’s take a further look into the coronavirus and your rights.

I need to self isolate, what are my rights?

If ( from April 2020) you earn at least £120 a week, you will be entitled to £94.25 SSP ( Statutory Sick Pay) a week for up to 28 weeks. Prior to the Budget , you would need to be off sick 4 days in a row before claiming however that has now been reduced to two days.

I am self employed, can I also claim SSP?

If you are self employed or do not qualify for SSP you can make a claim for Universal Credit or Employment and Support Allowance (ESA) 

I have to take some time off work to look after an ill family member, what are my rights?

If a member of your family needs to be looked after at home or go into hospital , you are entitled to time off to look after them. Please be aware that you will not be eligible for SSP although some employers maybe able to offer you support, depending on their individual policies.

My employer wants me to work from home but I am not setup for it. What can I do?

As per government guidance , many employers are now advising that workers that are able to work from home, do just that. However this does pose some questions. Are you setup at home with suitable furniture? Do you have the space? Who pays for your extra internet usage?

Your employer will be responsible for any equipment they provide such as laptops ,phones etc. You may be able to claim for additonal expenses like internet usage. Some employers will also reimburse costs associated with setting up your home office ie desk, chairs etc

You must ensure you agree on the process and any limitations on this before the homeworking starts.

I do not want to go into work as I’m anxious about catching the virus

If you don’t want to travel or go into work,you may find that your rights are somewhat limited. Your employer should listen to your concerns and try and find a way to work around them. Working from home is an obvious option.You may also be able to take time off as holiday or unpaid leave.

Share your experiences. Have you had to self isolate? How has your employer reacted? Drop a comment below.

There is more information on the virus here.

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