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Cancelled Work

Advice if you are employed or self-employed and your work is cancelled by your employer or engager due to Covid-19.

Last updated: 10 June 2022

If you are employed

Statutory Sick Pay (SSP) may be payable subject to you meeting SSP requirements as SSP applies to employees and some types of worker, but not those who are genuinely self-employed or self-employed agency workers.

If you are an employee you may (subject to meeting any qualifying conditions) be entitled to the employer’s ‘company sick pay’ (CSP) but if there’s no CSP, or the CSP has been exhausted, what pay can be claimed?

If as an employee you can show you are ready, willing and able to work (and whilst the organisation is not legally required to self-isolate its employees) it is arguable that you should be paid normal pay under an employer’s implied duty to pay wages, unless there is a contractual right not to (e.g. an express written term to this effect). This would be for the duration of the enforced absence (limited to the original work period required by the organisation).

If you are self-employed

For most workers or if you’re a casual employee, it is likely you won’t have a contractual (implied or express) entitlement to be provided with work (e.g. zero hours) in the first place and so this argument will be weaker.

If you are truly self-employed, the position is subject to what was agreed between you and the organisation. There’s unlikely to be any ‘company sick pay’ (CSP) or equivalent. However, unless the organisation has the right to withhold payment under the contract’s terms, it is arguable that you should be paid for the work agreed to be undertaken.

In the event of discrimination

If the work-providing organisation discriminates in the way it implements Covid-enforced absences, and that’s related to or because of a protected characteristic (e.g. age, disability, gender, race etc) it could amount to discrimination and thus protected under the Equality Act 2010 - if you can show you are an employee or provide a personal service.

If you do encounter an example of this, please contact your regional office