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Ben Jones
Ben Jones, UK Lawyer
Category: Law
Satisfied Customers: 71328
Experience:  Qualified Solicitor
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I am currently being made to shield by my employer (Tesco)

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I am currently being made to shield by my employer (Tesco) and I am only be ing payed for my 8 1/2 contracted hours which comes to about £86. However I can see from the gov.uk website that I'm required to be payed SSP (£95.85) for shielding. What do I do??
JA: Have you discussed this wage-and-hour issue with a manager or HR? Or with a lawyer?
Customer: Yes and they say they cannot override my current contracted wage.
JA: What is your employment status? Are you an employee, freelancer, consultant or contractor? Do you belong to a union?
Customer: I have been employed by Tesco, on this contract as a checkout assistant for 3 years now. There is a union (usdaw) but I dont know if I'm part of it.
JA: Anything else you want the Lawyer to know before I connect you?
Customer: That I'm also being made to shield against my will as well.

Hello, I’m Ben. It’s my pleasure to assist you today. I may also ask for some preliminary information to help me determine the legal position.

Hi there. I am sorry to learn of the situation you are in. Why has your employer told you to shield?

and how long are you being asked to do this for?

Customer: replied 12 days ago.
Because I was classified as extremely clinically vulnerable during the last lock down (I'm immunosuppressed) and they gave me no option to shield this time around.
Customer: replied 12 days ago.
Until Dec 2
Customer: replied 12 days ago.
Sorry I dont really have the money to call

OK I understand and thank you for providing this information. Please do not worry and leave it with me for now; I will get back to you with my answer as soon as I can, which will be at some point today. The system will notify you when this happens. Please do not reply in the meantime as this may unnecessarily delay my response. Many thanks.

Many thanks for your patience, I am pleased to be able to continue assisting with your query now. First of all, I am sorry to hear about the issues you have experienced in your situation.

There is no longer a requirement for people to shield under Government guidance and therefore, the rules on shielding and SSP are no longer the same as they were when the initial lockdown was in place and there was an official requirement for people to shield.

Still, there is some conflicting information on this. See here:

https://www.cipp.org.uk/resources/news/ssp-and-shielding.html

The consensus, as confirmed by the DWP is that if you are shielding due to a local lockdown, you should still be eligible for SSP, which arguably means that if there is a national lockdown, the same would apply for that period (currently until 2 December).

However….to be eligible for SSP you must earn All the best least £120 a week on average and if you only work £86 it means that you fall below the threshold for eligibility and therefore will not get SSP, even if you are off sick and shielding.

I appreciate this may not be the answer you were hoping for but it is the legal position and all I can tell you is what the law says. I do hope that it at least explains where you stand and I will be happy to clarify anything for you in relation to it. For now, thank you for using our service.

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