Sick pay for coronavirus sufferers to be available from first day of illness

Statutory sick pay will be available to workers staying at home with possible coronavirus infections from the first day of illness, Boris Johnson has announced.

Under emergency legislation to halt the spread of Covid-19, the Prime Minister said payments will be moved forward from the fourth day of sickness under current rules.

The Government had been under pressure to introduce measures to compensate employees who are following health advice in not turning up for work.

Sign up to our daily newsletter

Speaking at Prime Minister’s Questions on Wednesday, Mr Johnson said individuals who self-isolate are "helping to protect all of us by slowing the spread of the virus".

A man on the Jubilee line of the London Underground tube network wearing a protective facemask. Photo: Kirsty O'Connor/ PA Wire

"If they stay at home and if we ask people to self isolate they may lose out financially," he told the Commons.

"So I can today announce that the Health Secretary will bring forward, as part of our emergency coronavirus legislation, measures to allow the payment of statutory sick pay from the very first day you are sick instead of four days under the current rules and I think that's the right way forward.

"Nobody should be penalised for doing the right thing."