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27 July, 2020 Open access

Scottish Government updates guidance for people who are currently shielding to confirm they will not be eligible for SSP on that basis from 1 August 2020

Deputy First Minister says that government expects employers 'to fully support' those who are returning to work as a result of the pause in shielding

The Scottish Government has updated its guidance to people who have been advised to shield because of coronavirus (COVID-19) to confirm that they will not be eligible for statutory sick pay (SSP) on that basis from 1 August 2020.

Following the Westminster Government’s announcement of plans to ease its guidance on shielding - that include, from 1 August 2020, that people classed as ‘clinically extremely vulnerable’ will no longer be advised to shield and, as a result, will no longer be entitled to claim SSP on that basis - the Scottish Government has updated its own COVID-19 shielding advice and support guidance to similar effect.

In relation to advice to people who are currently shielding on returning to work, the updated guidance advises -

'We will be sending a letter out to you before the end of July. This will explain what will happen when shielding is paused …

If shielding prevents you from being able to work you are eligible to claim statutory sick pay. This will only apply until 31 July …

If the risks to you and the kind of job you do mean it’s hard for you to return, some employers may be able to offer you leave. It is up to your employer and you to decide what is best if you are not able to return to your workplace.’

Commenting on the changes, Deputy First Minister John Swinney said -

'This will be a welcome and long-awaited announcement for around 180,000 people who have been shielding since the onset of the COVID-19 crisis - the implications of shielding have been enormous for every person affected, as well as their families and loved ones. We have reached the point where these restrictions can be eased, so that the advice for those shielding will be the same as the rest of the general public.

Even though these changes will be welcome for some, I know many will also feel anxious and worried too. I want to reassure all those affected - there will be a range of guidance and information for all those moving on from shielding status, and those most at-risk will continue to receive support. I also expect employers to fully support those who are returning to work.'

For more information, see Shielding to be paused from gov.scot