Legislation will be introduced to allow small and medium sized businesses and employers to reclaim Statutory Sick Pay (SSP) paid for sickness absence due to COVID-19. The eligibility criteria for the scheme will be as follows:
- The refund will cover up to 2 weeks’ SSP per eligible employee who has been off work because of COVID-19.
- The government will refund £94.25 per week, maximum £188.50, to your company for the 2019/20 tax year. The figures for the 2020/21 tax year will be £95.85 and £191.70 respectively.
- This SSP will be paid from the first day of absence for anyone self-isolating due to coronavirus from 13 March 2020.
- Employers with fewer than 250 employees will be eligible – the size of an employer will be determined by the number of people they employed as of 28 February 2020. If you’re a director of a limited company with less than 250 employees, you can pay yourself two weeks of SSP if you need to self-isolate subject to meeting the minimum payroll requirement for SSP.
- Employers will be able to reclaim expenditure for any employee who has claimed SSP (according to the new eligibility criteria) as a result of COVID-19.
- Employers should maintain records of staff absences and payments of SSP, but employees will not need to provide a GP fit note. If evidence is required by an employer, those with symptoms of coronavirus can get an isolation note from NHS 111 online and those who live with someone that has symptoms can get a note from the NHS website.
The government will work with employers over the coming months to set up the repayment mechanism for employers.
How to access the scheme
A rebate scheme is being developed. Further details will be provided in due course.
Understand that you will not reclaim this SSP through your real-time information (RTI) submissions when processing payroll. The government will work with employers over the coming months to set up the repayment mechanism for employers as soon as possible.