All You Need to Know Along with the Best Way to Manage COVID-19 Related Statutory Sick Pay

COVID-19 Related Statutory Sick Pay

February 04, 2021

One year of the pandemic down and still there appears a lot still to be learnt about the virus as COVID-19 has morphed into a whole new dodgy variant swiftly infecting the masses. But life cannot come to a standstill and so despite lockdowns and restrictions people find that they simply can’t put their lives on hold – the show must go on – work must continue. The UK government foreseeing this has strived to make things easier for employers by introducing reclaimable SSP; something that had become extinct from 2013. So, what are the changes to Statutory sick pay and what is the best way to manage Covid-19 related statutory sick pay, read on to find out.

  1. 1- How much is Statutory Sick Pay?

Statutory Sick Pay amounts to £95.85 a week for the employee who is eligible.

  1. 2- Does the employee need to have tested positive to get paid SSP?

In lieu of the coronavirus you need to pay an employee SSP if the employee is self-isolating and also off-work for a minimum of 4 days and if either of what follows applies:

  • - They or a person they are living with has symptoms of the coronavirus
  • - They have received a notification that someone they have recently been in contact with has been tested positive. Such notifications normally come from the NHS or from public health related authorities
  • - They have someone who is part of their ‘support bubble’ who has tested positive and also has symptoms of Covid -19
  • - They are preparing for a surgery and have been asked by a healthcare professional or doctor to self-isolate
  • - The above also applies if the employee lives in an area with restrictions in place or where they’ve been asked to shield. Or also if they are at high risk of a severe illness due to the coronavirus
  1. 3- From what day does the employee receive the SSP payment?

For employees who are ill due to the coronavirus the qualifying day is the first day of illness. A point to note here is that ‘qualifying day’ implies a day that the employee would have actually been working had it not been for the illness.

Now enough about the employee, let’s move on to the employer.

  1. 1- How and when to reclaim SSP?

For an employer it is possible to make a reclaim of 2 weeks of SSP but that only applies if all of the below apply:

  • - If the employee was not working as they were positive, self-isolating or even shielding
  • - The PAYE (payroll) scheme of your company was started on or before the 28th of February 2020
  • - Your firm had less than 250 employees on the aforementioned date
  1. 2- How much can the employer reclaim?

For those employees who are eligible as per the above the employer can reclaim £95.85 per week per employee.

  1. 3-How long should records be kept and what records are those?

If you want to make a reclaim of SSP that was paid to an employee off-sick due to the coronavirus the correct records need to be kept. The following are the details need (they need ti be kept for a minimum of 3 years):

  • - Dates on which the employee took sickness leave
  • - Which of the above dates were the qualifying ones
  • - Why did the employee not come to work – What was the illness
  • - The National Insurance number of the employee in question
  1. 4- What proofs are deemed acceptable when an employee asks for SSP due to the coronavirus?

The following are the proofs that are considered acceptable:

  • - An isolation note, (if the employee is self-isolating) – from the NHS 111
  • - A proof of notification from NHS or the relevant public health authorities if the employee has to self-isolate as they have come into the presence of someone who has tested positive for COVID-19
  • - A fit note from their doctor mentioning their other illness (a sick note) that could be aggravated from COVID
  • - A shielding note if they are of a vulnerable group (from a doctor)
  • - A letter stating the date of their planned operation
  1. 5- How do employers reclaim SSP?

It is done online. Their agent can do this for them.

Thus, as you can see from the above (which is just the tip of the ice-berg actually), SSP reclaim is not all that easy as it sounds. For example, what if your furloughed (Job Retention Scheme) employee falls in the what do you do?

  • - Can you switch furlough to SSP? – Yes
  • - Can an employee who is sick still remain on furlough? – Yes
  • - If an employee is on furlough and then falls sick and is on SSP then can the employer claim furlough? – No
  • - If the employee falls sick during being on furlough then who decides whether SSP or furlough is applicable? – The employer

Managing SSP, keeping a tab on which employees are eligible, ensuring you get the reclaim amount back – all this is time consuming and taxing for any business owner. Hence, to make things easier most employers count on their accountants to get this work done for them. Doshi Accountants can help you with your furlough related process as well as with your accounts and taxation needs. What’s more, you get free employment related and accounts related advice and a dedicated consultant of your own. Therefore, trust in the experts and get your work done, faster, more effectively and hassle-free! Quality work delivered on time is our motto.