The Prime Minister has announced that workers who fall ill with coronavirus or who are advised to self isolate will be entitled to receive statutory sick pay from the first day of their illness or isolation.
Currently, SSP is payable from the fourth day of absence. It's paid at a fixed rate of £92.25 per week (increasing to £95.85 from 6 April 2020) and is only payable if someone earns at least £118 per week.
The lower earnings limit means that many people are excluded from receiving SSP - particularly if they work on zero hours contracts. The Prime Minister has said that workers who don't qualify for SSP "will be entitled to help through existing systems such as universal credit and we are urgently looking at the application process to reflect on the advice on self-isolation."
We understand that the government is going to introduce emergency legislation to make the changes which, we think, will only apply to coronavirus - not to other conditions or illnesses.
We'll keep you updated.
Boris Johnson said people who self-isolate are helping to protect others from the virus and should not be "penalised for doing the right thing".