There have been many unanswered questions regarding Statutory Sick Pay for workers who contract the coronavirus and who are then forced to self-isolate.
To help, TBOS have listed our most frequently asked questions around Covid-19 Statutory Sick Pay.
Please note the date of the article as these answers may change over the following weeks and months as the outbreak develops.
WHAT IS THE STATUTORY SICK PAY FOR EMPLOYEES SELF-ISOLATING?
People with symptoms of the coronavirus (even mild ones) are advised to stay at home. Statutory Sick Pay will be paid from day 1 instead of day 4 for those affected by the coronavirus. This means that employees are entitled to Statutory Sick Pay which is £94.25 per week, for up to 28 weeks. Please note only 2 weeks of Statutory Sick Pay is recoverable from the Government through your PAYE scheme.
HOW DO I MONITOR MY EMPLOYEES TAKING COVID-19 STATUTORY SICK PAY?
Employers should maintain records of staff absences and payments of SSP, as employees are no longer required to provide a GP fit note. If evidence is required by an employer, those with symptoms of coronavirus can obtain an isolation note from NHS 111 online. For those who live with someone that has produced symptoms, they can obtain a note from the NHS website.
IS THE GOVERNMENT PROVIDING ANY FINANCIAL SUPPORT FOR SSP?
Yes, the Government has recently launched the Coronavirus Job Retention Scheme to financially support UK employers at this time.
Under the new scheme, all UK employers will be able to access financial support to continue paying part of their employees’ salary. This will cover up to 80% of the average wage, worth up to £2,500 a month, just above the median income. HMRC are working urgently to set up a system for reimbursement. Existing systems are not yet set up to facilitate payments to employers.
The Government have said that this will definitely be available by the end of April.
DO I NEED TO DO ANYTHING TO ACCESS THIS SCHEME?
In order for your recruitment business to access the grant, you will need to:
- Designate affected employees as ‘furloughed workers’ and notify your employees of this change.
- Changing the status of employees remains subject to existing employment lawand, depending on the employment contract, may be subject to negotiation.
- Submit information to HMRC about the employees that have been furloughed and their earnings through a new online portal (HMRC will set out further details on the information required).
HOW DO I QUALIFY MY EMPLOYEES FOR THIS SCHEME?
For employees to qualify for this scheme, they should not undertake work for you while they are furloughed. This will allow you to claim a grant of up to 80% of the wage for all employment costs, with a cap up to £2,500 per month.
Your employees will remain employed while furloughed.
HOW IS MY RECRUITMENT BUSINESS ELIGIBLE FOR THIS FUNDING?
UK Employers with fewer than 250 employees will be eligible. Please note the size of an employer will be determined by the number of people they employed as of 28 February 2020. This refund will cover up to 2 weeks’ SSP per eligible employee who have been off work because of COVID-19.
WILL COVID-19 STATUTORY SICK PAY PAYMENTS BE BACK DATED?
SSP will be back dated to 1st March 2020 and will open initially for 3 months but will be extended longer if needed.
HOW DO I PROCESS THE SSP SCHEME?
If you are a TBOS client, you will not need to process this yourself. You will however, need to notify TBOS of the members who have taken ill under the new SSP rules. We will then make a record of who they are, pay them accordingly to the legislation and then claim back the SSP on your behalf.
MORE SSP INFORMATION FROM TBOS SOON
We appreciate that there is still more information due to be released regarding SSP and the Government’s Coronavirus Job Retention Scheme. As and when this information is released, we will inform our TBOS community immediately. Ensure you stay updated by signing up to our emailing list and following us on social media.