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30 June, 2020 Open access

DWP confirms that people who are currently shielding due to being clinically extremely vulnerable will not be eligible for SSP on that basis from 1 August 2020

Government expects employers 'to do the right thing' to help their employees transition back to work safely, says Minister for Disabled People

The DWP has confirmed that people who are currently shielding as a result of the coronavirus (COVID-19) outbreak will not be eligible for statutory sick pay (SSP) on that basis from 1 August 2020.

Responding yesterday to a written question in parliament on the steps the DWP is taking to ensure the continuity of SSP payments for those individuals asked to continue shielding beyond 1 August 2020, Minister for Disabled People Justin Tomlinson said -

'The current epidemiological data shows the risk is currently low enough to allow the relaxation in guidance that we have outlined. From 1 August, the government will further relax advice to those shielding, bringing it in line with the advice to those who are clinically vulnerable. In broad terms, this means that although the advice is still to stay at home as much as possible, those shielding may wish to go out to more places and see more people, as long as they take particular care to minimise contact with others outside their household and follow hygiene measures. This means that if they are unable to work from home but can work on site, they should do so, provided the business is COVID-safe. Therefore, clinically extremely vulnerable individuals will no longer be eligible for SSP on the basis of being clinically extremely vulnerable.'

Mr Tomlinson went on to say that the government expects employers 'to do the right thing' to help their employees to transition back to work safely, and that -

'If employers cannot provide a safe working environment, they will still be able to access a range of government support: this includes the Coronavirus Job Retention Scheme for employees who have previously been furloughed for a full three-week period prior to 30 June and the Self-Employed Income Support Scheme.'

Mr Tomlinson's written answer is available from parliament.uk