SSP CHANGES TO DEAL WITH COVID-19
The recent budget announced support for those affected by COVID-19 which includes temporary changes to Statutory Sick Pay (SSP).
The measures are aimed at helping to ensure that employees don’t lose out financially where they are asked to stay at home to protect others in the workplace from the virus while also supporting businesses who are experiencing an increase in costs and financial disruption. SSP is currently £94.25 each week rising to £95.85 from 6 April 2020.
Scope of SSP widened
SSP will be extended on a temporary indefinite basis to cover:
- Individuals who are not ill but are unable to work because they have been advised to self-isolate in line with Government guidance
- SSP will be payable from day 1 instead of day 4 for affected individuals
- People who are advised to self-isolate for COVID-19 will soon be able to obtain an alternative to the fit note to cover this by contacting NHS111 rather than visiting a doctor. This can be used by employees where employers require evidence.
- Please note this will only apply to those eligible for SSP where employees earn above the Lower Earnings Limit of £118pw.
Reimbursement of SSP
The government plans to help small and medium-sized businesses and employers with fewer than 250 employees as at 28 Feb 2020 cope with the extra costs of paying COVID-19 related SSP by refunding eligible SSP costs as follows:
- The refund will be covered up to two weeks per eligible employee who has been off work because of COVID-19 with effect from March 13th 2020
- Employers should maintain records of staff absences, but should not require employees to provide a GP fit note.
The guidance on self-isolation is anyone with symptoms – new dry cough and fever should self-isolate for 7 days.
If they live with others the entire family should self-isolate for 14 days. For further information please visit https://www.gov.uk/government/publications/covid-19-stay-at-home-guidance/stay-at-home-guidance-for-households-with-possible-coronavirus-covid-19-infection
If employers have any employees self-isolating please advise with the wages providing the first day of absence and whether for 7 or 14 days.
Employees should not return to work early.
We will calculate the payment but you should keep a record of the names , dates and amount paid to claim back later once HMRC have announced how the refunds will be made.