C oronavirus – B us O perator F ront L ine S taff S ic k P ay enhanc ements
T he current C oronavirus situation is clearly unprecedented, and T fL and the L ondon bus
operators have been working closely together to ensure our customers and workforce are
protected and supported. We recognise that the normal sick pay arrangements for key front
line staff across L ondon aren’t suitable for this very specific situation, where the aim is to
discourage anyone who may show the symptoms of C ovid-19 from attending work at those
first signs to avoid it spreading. It’s also important to support those people who have to self
isolate for up to 14 days because somebody in their household has the symptoms. And lastly
to encourage those who are able to attend work to do so, to keep the transport network
T he government has enhanced the S tatutory S ick P ay (S S P ) provision to come in at Day 1,
but we recognise that the financial impact of S S P compared to basic pay is too great and
could encourage some people who should be at home to attend work.
C ompany S ick P ay (C S P ) varies across L ondon, but T fL and the bus operators have
ag reed that C S P will be broug ht forward to Day 1 of any abs enc e that is direc tly
related to C oronavirus – either s howing the s ymptoms or c omplying with 14 days of
is olation. F or staff in grades where there is no C ompany S ick P ay (typical y new starters), a
temporary equivalent wil be introduced using the basis of C S P for more experienced drivers
(eg a percentage of basic pay).
T his will apply to key front line s taff working on T fL c ontrac ted bus s ervic es ,
inc luding bus drivers , eng ineers , c leaners /s hunters etc working for operators or their
c ontrac tors and c anteen s taff in g arag es . It wil not apply to agency staff (drivers or
T he enhanced temporary scheme wil be bac kdated to T ues day 17th Marc h, and continue
whilst the current situation remains. E ach company wil confirm details of the relevant C S P
for their staff.
P roc es s
B us Operators wil manage staff attendance appropriately and within their existing
processes. T he temporary framework outlined here is designed to be supplementary to help
support staff who should be off, whilst encouraging as many as possible to continue to work
T he complexity in all of this is the range of existing arrangements which we feel in some
cases could drive the wrong behaviour and increase the risk of spread of the virus. T his
proposal may wel be more than is being considered in other parts of the UK , but based on
L ondon being ahead of the rest of the country in terms of infection we think it is right to apply
a more rigorous approach for the bus network here.
T he principles are:
- T fL wil support B us Operators to try to ensure that no one comes to work sick with
C ovid19 symptoms, because they cannot afford not to work.
- S upport wil be offered to uplift S S P to an earnings related figure where appropriate
(please see below) and to ensure that sick pay is paid from the first day of absence.
- T he payments are in place for the time somebody is off sick with the symptoms of
C ovid19 (but no other complication) or up to 14 days through self isolation.
- T his does not cover those individuals who are themselves at high risk (over 70 etc)
nor those who don’t feel they can work because they live with somebody who is in a
high risk group. T his may be reviewed if government advice changes.
- T his backdates to T uesday 17th March, and continues until further notice but is
subject to review at any time.
- We wil have in place some checks and assurance, but our presumption is that
operators are using fair and reasonable HR processes and then based on that
process claiming the difference.
Drivers and E ng ineers – the change builds on the existing C S P within your T &C s for the
grade / pay grouping / company / garage they are in. T his is not level ing off between those
groups – it’s extending current arrangements, not rationalising.
C leaners – unless there is an existing C ompany S ick P ay scheme in place (in which case
that would take precedence) the payment would be 80% of rostered earnings. T hat is
broadly in line with the calculation for drivers.
C anteen / c atering s taff – T fL would accept claims for employed or contracted catering /
canteen staff on the same basis.
We will expect operators to apply their own policies for self isolation and to determine that
absence is genuine. T he proposals only apply to the very s pec ific C ovid-19 related
abs enc e, for the period it is considered to be a pandemic and can be reviewed at any time.
It is not a long term c hang e to T &C s .
E x amples for how this would work for Drivers
S ome examples of how this would work. T he specifics vary from company to company
L ength of S ervice
C urrent contractual
S cheme ‘C S P ’
New starter rate
S tatutory sick pay
T emporary ‘C S P ’ from day 1 – the
rate set at each company relative to
the rate paid for drivers who have
4 year driver
No sick pay until day C S P from day 1
4, then C S P of 80%
of basic pay
3 year driver
No sick pay until day £350 p/w from day 1
3, then fixed
payment of £350
We recognise that C ompany S ick P ay varies between companies in terms of % of basic pay
or a fixed weekly amount, and that is a key element of differentiation in the overal pay
package which we do not propose to unify or change. We are not proposing to ‘level up’
what that rate is across companies. However, T fL ’s assumption is that sick pay for
C oronavirus is paid for al levels of experience at the current or equivalent % of pay and from
day 1. As an example, in a company where a starter driver currently gets S S P , if at year 3
that driver would be entitled to C S P of 80% of a basic week, an equivalent to C S P is paid of
80% of the basic pay for a starter driver.
E ng ineers
T he same principal applies to engineers.
T he number of cleaners with C S P is very low. T he same cleaning companies are also
contracted across many garages and companies, and therefore some sort of consistency wil
be essential for them to manage their staff.
Unless there is a C S P scheme, to avoid issues within the cleaning company’s T fL is
supporting payments through bus operators of the difference between S S P and 80% of the
cleaners’ basic week pay.
P ayment Mec hanis m
T he length of absence wil vary, and payments wil be made retrospectively based on a
certified claim set out as follows:
C ontractual sick pay
sick pay (incl G ovt S S P )
17/3/20 24/3/20 £820
18/3/20 26/3/20 £440
C laims are made weekly at operator level, covering the period from S aturday to F riday,
ideal y within 10 days of the end of the week. T hey should be signed by an appropriately
authorised official of the operator as true and accurate.
C laims should be made in the week in which the absence finishes for the whole period of
that absence – ie the claim could cover a number of weeks but is ‘crystal ised’ in the week
they return when the ful costs of the absence are known.
R eimbursements wil be made at operator level as additional amount claims on existing
intermediate and final settlements.
T WC 20/3/20