We’re living in unprecedented times, with the Coronavirus crisis causing uncertainty for business owners and employees alike. Our offices may be temporarily closed, but we are still here to provide advice and support to our clients where possible, answering the questions you need to know.

 

Q: My employees are off work – can I get help to pay their sick pay?

 

A:

 

As expected with a highly infectious disease, many firms are struggling with reduced man-power and heightened sick payments.

 

In a bid to combat this, the Government has announced the Statutory Sick Pay Rebate Scheme to repay employers the Statutory Sick Pay paid to current or former employees.

 

The repayment will cover up to 2 weeks Statutory Sick Pay, starting from the first qualifying day of sickness if the employee is unable to work because they, or someone they live with, has Coronavirus symptoms or if they have been advised to self-isolate or shield by their GP or NHS.

 

While employees do not have to provide a doctor’s note, they can be asked to give either an isolation note from NHS 111 or the NHS or GP letter telling them to shield.

 

You can make more than one claim per employee but cannot claim for more than 2 weeks in total.

 

This scheme is available to employers with a PAYE payroll scheme started on or before February 28th, who had fewer than 250 employees on this date.

 

All employment contracts are covered under this scheme, including part-time, those on agency contracts, zero-hour contracts or fixed term contracts.

 

There is no date set for when this scheme will end, however employees are advised to keep track of any sick pay paid and claim the rebate as soon as possible. Employees must keep records of SSP they have paid and want to claim back.

 

The online portal to claim back SSP is now open, and more information can be found here