Test and Trace App: Entitlements if instructed to isolate

May 28, 2020, By

The Government is rolling out its launch of the NHS Test and Trace Programme to help trace any contact if we test positive for Covid-19. It will be used as a mechanism to help us ease the lockdown, if it all goes to plan.

It will be launched as a manual contract tracing programme first, as the app is still being tested on the Isle of Wight. It is expected that the app will go live for the rest of us mid-June.

Test & Trace App

The Test and Trace Programme, electronically aided or otherwise, will help to identify contacts of people who test positive. If it turns out that you have been in contact with somebody who has tested positive for the virus, you will be instructed to self-isolate for 14 days.

If instructed to isolate from the Test and Trace App, am I entitled to Statutory Sick Pay?

Our employment team have explained what it means if you are instructed to self-isolate, having been in touch with someone with suspected coronavirus.

The Statutory Sick Pay (General) (Coronavirus Amendment) (No. 4) Regulations 2020 have been extended in line with the app launch.

They cover any person who is contacted by the NHS Test and Trace app, been advised that they have been in contact with an individual who has tested positive for coronavirus, and been asked to self-isolate for 14 days.

A worker is eligible to statutory sick pay for every day they are in isolation, as long as they meet the eligibility conditions. This is paid at a flat rate of £95.85 per week by employers for up to 28 weeks per period of sickness.

The Test and Trace App will provide a notification to the worker that can be used as evidence for the employer that they have been told to self-isolate, explaining that this means they cannot attend work.

Employers should support workers who need to self-isolate and must not ask them to attend the workplace. Where possible, employers can allow employees to work from home if they are well enough and it is practicable to do so.

If the employee cannot work from home, the self-isolating employee is entitled to statutory sick pay.  As an alternative, an employee can ask to take their paid holiday for the time they’re off work, entitling them to full pay for the duration of their leave, as opposed to Statutory Sick Pay, if they choose to do so.

Employment Advice during Coronavirus

Our employment team are here to advise both employees and employers on their rights and responsibilities in relation to the new Test and Trace Programme.

If you require any expert legal advice on this case, or anything in the bigger picture of this pandemic and beyond, please contact our team.

Call us on 0161 969 3131 or leave your details and we will call you back.