Statutory Sick Pay – Coronavirus

Statutory Sick Pay was one of the first measures brought in by the government in light of the Coronavirus outbreak.

Under standard rules, Statutory Sick Pay is not reclaimable by the employer – meaning that the employer must pay for this cost out of pocket.

With more and more people being advised to self-isolate if they, or family members, are showing symptoms, there is and will continue to be an increase in the number of employees taking sick leave. To minimise the impact of employees being unable to work, the government will now reimburse 14 days of SSP (Statutory Sick Leave) to the employer for each employee that requires it.

This support will begin from 13th March and is currently available to businesses who employ fewer than 250 people. Over the coming months, HMRC will be working to implement the reimbursement scheme and further guidance on this will be issued.

To help the employee affected, the standard ‘waiting period’ will be removed. This means that employees will be paid from day 1 of their sick leave, as opposed to from day 4. On 6th April 2020, the rate of Statutory Sick Pay will also be increasing to £95.85.

There is no requirement for the affected employee to provide a note from their GP to support their need to take sick leave, and employers are being encouraged to use their discretion when it comes to the medical evidence they request during this time. If needed, the employee will be able to obtain a ‘fit note’ from the online NHS 111 service.

This measure is applicable to employers and employees only, and does not include the self-employed who are unable to claim Statutory Sick Pay. If you are self-employed and unable to work, you can apply for Universal Credit.

Key Points

  • Beginning 13th March, employers (with fewer than 250 employees) will be able to reclaim 14 days of SSP from HMRC for sick leave taken as a result of the Coronavirus.
  • To be eligible for SSP, the employee must earn at least £118 per week
  • Guidance on how to reclaim the cost of SSP will be issued once HMRC have implemented the necessary systems.

Please get in touch if you would like any further advice on the Coronavirus and government support.