Coronavirus: Guidance for employees

LAST UPDATED: 17TH MARCH 2020, 11:01AM

Staying at home

If you have symptoms of coronavirus infection (COVID-19), however mild, stay at home and do not leave your house for 7 days from when your symptoms started. (See the stay at home guidance for more information)

My employer wants me to come to work even though I feel ill, what should I do?

Employees should take time off work if they are ill. The Government is clear that employers should support their staff’s welfare, especially during an extended response.

My employer wants me to come to work. How do I respond when I don’t have a sick note?/Will my boss believe that I need to be at home? Will it risk my job?

Employees should take time off work if they’re ill.

By law, medical evidence is not required for the first 7 days of sickness (i.e. employees can self-certify). After 7 days, it is for the employer to determine what evidence they require, if any, from the employee. To make it easier for people to provide evidence to their employer that they need to stay at home, we are developing an alternative form of evidence to the fit note. These will shortly be available through NHS online.

In the meantime, we continue to urge employers to respect the need to stay at home where they are following government advice to do so and to show flexibility in the evidence they require from employees.

Working from home

I can’t work from home. There’s no space and the kids get in the way. Can my employer make me work from home?

You should discuss your situation with your employer. We would expect most employers and employees to reach a sensible compromise and come to a solution that best meets both parties’ needs, bearing in mind the latest public health advice.

Sick pay

Will my employer be obliged to pay me while I stay at home?

Statutory Sick Pay will be paid from day 1 instead of day 4 for those affected by coronavirus.

What about if I have a zero hours contract?

You may be entitled to Statutory Sick Pay. Check with your employer if you’re unsure.

If you’re not entitled to Statutory Sick Pay, you may be able to apply for Universal Credit or Employment and Support Allowance (ESA).

What about if I’m self employed?

You can apply for Universal Credit.

What if the whole family has to stay at home and there’s no income coming in?

If no one is getting Statutory Sick Pay, the family can apply for Universal Credit.

Further Information