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23 December, 2020 Open access

DWP confirms that people who live in areas where shielding is reintroduced are able to claim SSP

Department advises that shielding letters being sent by doctors or the government can be used as proof of entitlement

The DWP has confirmed that people who live in areas where shielding has been reintroduced are able to claim statutory sick pay (SSP) if unable to work from home.

In the new edition of its Touchbase newsletter today, the DWP says that -

'If clinically extremely vulnerable individuals live in an area where shielding is reintroduced, they will receive a notification advising them to shield, such as a letter from their doctor or from the Government…

Statutory Sick Pay is available from the first day of absence to individuals who are unable to work because they have been advised to shield, for example where they can’t work from home.'

In addition, in updated guidance on shielding, that includes guidance for people advised to shield in Tier 4 areas in England from 20 December 2020, the government says that shielders should not attend work, and that shielding letters will act as evidence for SSP or employment and support allowance (ESA) purposes -

'You are strongly advised to work from home because the risk of exposure to the virus in your area may be significantly higher. If you cannot work from home, then you should not attend work...

As you are being advised not to attend work, you may be eligible for SSP or ESA. The formal shielding letter you receive will act as evidence for your employer and the Department of Work and Pensions that you are advised to shield and may be eligible for SSP or ESA.'

For more information, see Touchbase (23 December 2020) from