The Government is bringing forward legislation for small and medium-sized businesses to reclaim Statutory Sick Pay (SSP) for sickness absence due to the COVID-19 disruption. The details and eligibility criteria is as follows:
- Employers with fewer than 250 employees will be eligible (as at 29 February 2020)
- The refund will cover a maximum of 2 weeks’ SSP per eligible employee (£94.25 per week in the tax year ending 05 Apr 2020)
- Employers will be able to reclaim expenditure for any employee who has claimed SSP as a result of the COVID-19 disruption.
- Employers should maintain records of staff absences and payments of SSP, but employees will not need to provide a GP fit note.
- If the employer requires evidence, the employee can obtain an isolation note from NHS 111 online.
- The eligible period for the scheme will commence the day after the regulations on the extension of SSP to those staying at home comes into force.
Those who follow advice to stay at home and who cannot work as a result will be eligible for SSP, even if they are not themselves sick. Employers should use their discretion and respect the medical need to self-isolate in making decisions about sick pay. HMRC is already working with the payroll industry to develop a system where SSP can be delivered from the 1st day of absence for employees who are impacted by the COVID-19 disruption. A rebate scheme is also currently in the process of being set up to facilitate employer claims.
SSP is currently set at £94.25 a week however employers could choose to pay more if they wish to do so. Employers can only claim back SSP at £94.25 per week for 2 weeks.
In the meantime, the Government has provided other avenues of support for businesses who are impacted by the COVID-19 crisis. Please see here for details. Contact us on 0121 771 4161 for assistance on how to reclaim statutory sick pay (SSP).
Additional information can be found here:
Please note this is the guidance as we understand at the time of the announcement. As you are aware, the information is changing on a daily basis and we cannot be held responsible if the advice or guidance changes or if our interpretation does not subsequently prove to be correct.