What are the new coronavirus sick pay rights unveiled in Budget 2020?

Chancellor Rishi Sunak unveiled several measures, including extending sick pay eligibility, as part of a £30bn fiscal coronavirus stimulus package in his first Budget, among them several designed to help employees and small business owners amid the ongoing crisis.

What are your updated rights under the new measures?

  • Will I get sick pay if I'm asked to self-isolate?

Under Mr Sunak's new measures, statutory sick pay (SSP) will be extended to all of those who are eligible and asked to self-isolate, even if they are not showing symptoms.

The payment, which works out at £94.25 per week, will be available from day one of quarantine.

  • Do I need a sick note?

No. In an attempt to keep people away from GP surgeries, employees can obtain a sick note through NHS 111.

Whiston Hospital in Merseyside. Credit: PA
  • I am self employed. Will I get sick pay?

Self-employed people are usual not eligible for SSP, but the Government will now be making it "quicker and easier to get benefits" including those on a zero hours contacts, or those earning less than £118 a week.

For people on lower incomes, Mr Sunak announced he would also be temporarily removing the minimum income floor in Universal Credit."

People asked to self-isolate will receive statuary sick pay. Credit: PA
  • I'm a small business owner. Will I have to cover the cost of my employees sick pay?

Under the new measures, the Government will meet the cost for businesses with fewer than 250 employees of providing SSP for 14 days. The step will provide over £2 billion for up to two million businesses.

Meanwhile, business rates will be scrapped for thousands of small businesses over the next year to help support small businesses during the Covid-19 outbreak.

Mr Sunak announced that businesses such as shops, cinemas, restaurants and music venues with a rateable value under £51,000 will not have to pay the tax for the next financial year.