Your rights if you have take time off work if you’re sick as coronavirus fears spread the UK – The Sun

Your rights if you have take time off work if you’re sick as coronavirus fears spread the UK – The Sun

WHETHER you get paid for sick leave or not depends on the contract of your employment –  but what are you rights if you need to take time off work.

Workers may be worried about their rights to sick pay due to the fear of the coronavirus spreading around the UK. 

The risk of infection in the UK remains low with the majority of cases being found in people who have recently visited China or the other countries affected.

At present only nine of people in the UK have been infected with the virus, despite 2,521 being tested.

You will only be advised to self-isolate if you've come into contact with someone infected with the disease or have fallen ill after travelling to China or other affected countries.

But if you are worried about having to take time off work because your ill, we’ve broken down exactly what your rights are.

What happens if I have to take time off work?

UK workers are entitled to Statutory Sick Pay (SSP) so long as they have started working for an employer, are sick for at least four days in a row and earn on average at least £118 per week (£6,136 per year).

These rules still apply if you are working on a part-time or fixed-term contract.

Citizens Advice also recommends asking for sick pay if you are on a zero hours contract and to ask for an explanation if they refuse.

People who are not entitled to sick leave include people who are self-employed, members of the armed forces, people who have received Employment and Support Allowance in the past three months, people in legal custody or those who have already received SSP for 28 weeks.

Your employer can choose to pay you your full salary while you are off sick but the statutory minimum entitlement is currently £94.25 per week.

It's worth checking with your employer what their policy is.

Some may require you to provide a letter from a doctor after five days, but it will vary based on your contract.

What do people think they are entitled to?

A 2018 study by Direct Line found that of British workers do not know how much sick pay they are entitled to with many believing they are entitled to receive full pay for around three and a half months.

But the study found most employers are not that generous with 40 per cent cutting back to SSP after two weeks. One in six does so after just four days.

The insurance company also found 90 per cent of employers also needed a formal doctors’ note to authorise sick leave.

Generally speaking, you have a few days grace when you are off sick but if it is more than a week you are likely to need a doctor’s note.

Tom Neil, from at The Advisory, Conciliation and Arbitration Service, ACAS, said: “If you’re not fit for work, you can self-certify for up to seven days.

“If you are going to be unfit for work for longer than seven days you will need a fit note signed by a doctor. During this time, you are likely to be entitled to receive sick pay.”

What do I do if my employer won’t pay sick pay?

Unfortunately, debt charity Citizens Advice warns employers do try to exploit confusion about workers’ rights to wriggle out of paying.

It says they use tactics such as changing rotas to make it look like workers are not supposed to be in on the day they call in sick.

If you think your boss is refusing to pay you what you think you are owed, tell them they must fill in a government sick pay form explaining their reasons and handed it back to you.

Once they have done that you need to contact HM Revenue and Customs on 0300 200 3200 which will decide if you are entitled to sick pay or not.

If your boss till won’t cough up, contact ACAS which will negotiate with them on your behalf.

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