A restaurateur asks: We’re a small restaurant in southeast London and our chef has been ill in isolation, so has been off work since 18 March. He’s supposed to be paid on 25 March. Do I pay statutory sick pay for these eight days or is it included in mandatory sick days?

Catherine Gannon, founder of Gannons Solicitors, says:

In terms of sick pay, the position is that you will be required to pay what they are entitled to under statute or the employment contract. If you have a company sick pay policy that the chef is entitled to then she/he would be entitled to that for any sick leave, similarly if there is no company sick pay she/he is entitled to statutory sick pay, that’s what should be paid.

The government are discussing measures to refund up to 2 weeks of SSP where employees have been off work due to COVID-19. To be eligible the business must have less than 250 employees. However, this has not been set up as yet and all we know at the moment is the information set out on the government’s website here​

Ian Mitty asks: I’m thinking of operating a takeaway service at my pub for four nights a week which I hope will give at least some staff some work However if I do this it will imperil their right to 80% pay announced last week will it not? Don’t want to do the right thing the wrong way!