Support for businesses who are paying SSP to employees

Jun 04 2020

  • ONLY applicable to a business with fewer than 250 employees (as at 28 Feb 2020).
  • This is still SSP - and therefore subject to all the usual rules, such as a maximum of 28 weeks’ pay, except that:
  1. There is no PIW to apply (so pay can start from the first day of sickness); and
  2. The employer can reclaim (via the online service at GOV.UK) up to 2 weeks of SSP per relevant employee.

Note: those two exceptions ONLY apply if the ‘sickness’ is Covid-19 related (although this can be due to isolation not just confirmed infection).

Recent updates on the Corona virus SSP Rebate Scheme: https://www.gov.uk/guidance/claim-back-statutory-sick-pay-paid-to-employees-due-to-coronavirus-covid-19

  • A fourth item has been added to the list of reasons that qualify a period of SSP for this scheme. In addition to the previous three reasons, there is now:

If an employee is unable to work because they are self-isolating because they have been notified by the NHS or public health bodies that they’ve come into contact with someone with coronavirus” (i.e. as a result of the new NHS Test & Trace system).

  • This means that the valid reasons for a rebate claim now differ depending on the date when the period of sickness commenced:
    • From 13th March 2020, only two reasons were valid - if your employee had corona virus or the symptoms, or was self-isolating because someone they live with had symptoms;
    • From 16thApril 2020, a third reason became valid - if your employee was shielding because of corona virus;
    • From 28th May 2020, a fourth reason became valid (as above) - if your employee has been notified by the NHS or public health bodies that they have come into contact with someone with corona virus.

NOTES:

  1. The new NHS Test & Trace system may mean that a lot of employees are ordered to isolate for 14 days so, if they are not already being furloughed (see above), they may have to rely on the employer’s OSP scheme (if any) or on SSP. However the latter will only pay a maximum of £191.70 for a fortnight.
  2. There is a new page at https://www.gov.uk/guidance/nhs-test-and-trace-workplace-guidance which includes:
    • Employers should continue to communicate with workers in self-isolation and provide support.This includes allowing people to work from home if they remain well and if it is practicable to do so.This might include finding alternative work that can be completed at home during the period of self-isolation.
    • If people cannot work from home, employers must ensure any self-isolating employee is receiving sick pay and give them the option to use their paid leave days if they prefer.An employee can ask to take their paid holiday for the time they are off work, entitling them to full pay for the duration of their leave, as opposed to Statutory Sick Pay, if they choose.
    • The NHS test and trace service will provide a notification that can be used as evidence that someone has been told to self-isolate.

 

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