Boris Johnson has announced at Prime Minister’s Questions that workers will be able to get statutory sick pay from their first day off work under emergency coronavirus legislation.
Under current rules, workers would only get the pay from their fourth day off work.
Speaking at PMQs on Wednesday, Prime Minister Boris Johnson said that people who self-isolate to help protect other people from contracting the virus should not be “penalised for doing the right thing”.
Labour leader Jeremy Corbyn asked Mr Johnson whether the sick pay would help those who are currently not eligible for sick pay, such as those who are self-employed or on zero-hours contracts. The Prime Minister said ‘a great many’ people will be entitled to statutory sick pay, while others “will be entitled to help through existing systems such as universal credit.”
Workers must earn at least £118 a week to be eligible for statutory sick pay, which is set at £94.25 a week.
The announcement by Boris Johnson came minutes after Jeremy Corbyn had described him as ‘our part-time Prime Minister’ speaking in the House of Commons, aksing what funding the NHS would be given to help tackle the coronavirus. PMQs was largely dominated by questions over the coronavirus, while topics including the environment and policing were also discussed.
To date, there have been 53 confirmed cases of COVID-19 in the UK and no fatalities.