The Government has today published the Employment (Self-Isolation) Pay Order 2020 to assist businesses where their employees have had to self-isolate and are unable to work. The Order also applies to assist self-employed people who are required to self-isolate and are also unable to work.
This new scheme sees the introduction of a statutory self-isolation pay rate of £52.50 per day. This is the amount that an employee would be paid by their employer if the employee needs to self-isolate and they have already used up all of their sick pay. The employer would then make a simple email claim to Government and Government would reimburse the amounts paid by the employer. The scheme acknowledges that some employees may have already used up their statutory sick leave if they have had to self-isolate, so the scheme also provides for these employees to claim the self-isolation pay rate for each rate that they are sick.
The pay rate is calculated using the maximum monthly BEAT COVID-19 payment of £1,155 and it is applicable to all types of employees irrespective of the number of average hours worked. This means that employees registered on an as and when required basis, part-time basis or full-time basis will all be eligible to participate.
Participants in the new scheme will need to comply with some basic conditions, such as having been directed to self-isolate through official channels. People who have received a sick note for a guardian or dependent in household isolation will not be able to claim. Intended for those employees who are unable to work, the scheme is not open to employees who can continue working remotely from home notwithstanding their self-isolation.
An individual will also be able to claim a maximum aggregate of 10 Self-Isolation Leave days.
Government encourages businesses and workers to familiarise themselves with the terms and conditions applicable to this self- isolation scheme as they are set out in the Order. The Order can now be found on the www.gibraltarlaws.gov.gi webpage.
The Chief Minister, the Hon Fabian Picardo MP, stated: “This is another measure that we have been working on with CELAC members and we have arrived at a scheme that gives businesses the financial support to pay their employees when they are unable to work, and also for employees to feel safe in the knowledge that they will receive an income if they are unable to work because they have to self-isolate. This is a last resort scheme, an employee that has sick pay should use their sick pay and receive their contracted salary. But we want to avoid someone who has used all of their sick pay from returning to work because they need the money. This is a scheme that is positive for business, it is positive for workers and it further protects our community from those that are directed to self-isolate. It was also of critical importance for us to make the scheme available to self-employed people. The scheme has its own unique rules for self-employed people, as they do not have statutory sick pay, and the end result is that the application process and qualifying criteria is somewhat simpler for them.”