- From today new regulations come into effect to re-introduce the Statutory Sick Pay Rebate Scheme for employers with fewer than 250 employees (more details below).
- Self-isolation for those with COVID-19 can end after 5 full days following 2 consecutive negative LFD tests (more details below).
New regulations to re-introduce the Statutory Sick Pay Rebate Scheme
The government has made regulations to re-introduce the Statutory Sick Pay Rebate Scheme across the United Kingdom, allowing employers with fewer than 250 employees to recover up to two weeks’ Statutory Sick Pay (£192.70) for each employee who is off work due to COVID-19 including those in self-isolation, on or after 21 December 2021 including where the period of incapacity started before that date.
Claims must be made by 24 March 2022.
The Statutory Sick Pay (Coronavirus) (Funding of Employers’ Liabilities) Regulations 2022 (SI 2022/5) and the Statutory Sick Pay come into force on 14 January 2022.
A similar scheme had previously been introduced in May 2020 and ended in September 2021. The financial limits under the new scheme are unaffected by any payments previously claimed under the old scheme.
Self-isolation for those with COVID-19 can end after 5 full days following 2 consecutive negative LFD tests
From Monday 17th January the self-isolation period is to be cut from 7 days to 5 days. This was announced by the Health Secretary, Sajid Javid who commented that “around two-thirds of positive cases are no longer infectious by the end of day five” and “we want to use the testing capacity that we’ve built up to help these people leave isolation safely”.
The Gov Press release from 13 January 2022 is here Self-isolation for those with COVID-19 can end after 5 full days following 2 negative LFD tests and states:-
- People self-isolating with COVID-19 will have the option to reduce their isolation period after 5 full days if they test negative on both day 5 and day 6 and do not have a temperature, from Monday, 17 January
- Individuals who are still positive on their rapid lateral flow tests must stay in isolation until they have had 2 consecutive negative tests taken on separate days.
The first test must be taken no earlier than day 5 of the self-isolation period, and the second must be taken the following day. If an individual is positive on day 5, then a negative test is required on day 6 and day 7 to release from isolation.
It is essential that 2 negative rapid lateral flow tests are taken on consecutive days and reported before individuals return to their job or education, if leaving self-isolation earlier than the full 10-day period.
For instance, if an individual is positive on day 5, then a negative test is required on both day 6 and day 7 to release from self-isolation, or positive on day 6, then a negative test is required on days 7 and 8, and so on until the end of day 10.
Those who leave self-isolation on or after day 6 are strongly advised to wear face coverings and limit close contact with other people in crowded or poorly ventilated spaces, work from home if they can do so and minimise contact with anyone who is at higher risk of severe illness if infected with COVID-19.
The default self-isolation period continues to be 10 days, and you may only leave self-isolation early if you have taken 2 rapid lateral flow tests and do not have a temperature in line with guidance.
The DfE email update today gave the following example:-
‘For example, if they test negative on the morning of day 5 and the morning of day 6, they can return to their education or childcare setting immediately on day 6.
The first test must be taken no earlier than day 5 of the self-isolation period, and the second must be taken the following day. All test results should be reported to NHS Test and Trace.’
The general coronavirus guidance starts here:-