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Paying Employees Statutory Sick Pay during COVID-19

For workers who are self-isolating owing to COVID-19, Statutory Sick Pay (SSP) is payable from day one. For all other workers, SSP is payable from the fourth full day on sickness in the normal way.

Average pay has to be £118 per week to be entitled to SSP based on their pay over the previous 8 weeks. If an employee has worked less than eight weeks, their average pay is based on what has been paid to date. SSP is payable at a rate of £94.25 a week.

Will my business be able to recover SSP paid to staff?

  • Small and medium-sized employers will be able to reclaim SSP for sickness absence due to COVID-19
  • This refund will cover up to two weeks’ SSP per eligible employee who has been off because of COVID-19
  • Only employers with fewer than 250 employees (as at 28 February 2020) will be eligible
  • 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
  • For clarity, employers cannot reclaim for those employees who were paid SSP for reasons other than COVID-19

Who can use the scheme

The scheme can be used by employers if they:

  • are claiming for an employee who’s eligible for sick pay due to coronavirus
  • had a PAYE payroll scheme that was created and started on or before 28 February 2020
  • had fewer than 250 employees on 28 February 2020

The scheme covers all types of employment contracts, including:

  • full-time employees
  • part-time employees
  • employees on agency contracts
  • employees on flexible or zero-hour contracts

We will let you know when the scheme will end.

Connected companies and charities

Connected companies and charities can also use the scheme if their total combined number of PAYE employees are fewer than 250 on or before 28 February 2020.

Records you must keep

You must keep records of all the statutory sick payments that you want to claim from HMRC, including:

  • the reason why an employee could not work
  • details of each period when an employee could not work, including start and end dates
  • details of the SSP qualifying days when an employee could not work
  • National Insurance numbers of all employees who you have paid SSP to

You’ll have to keep these records for at least 3 years following your claim.

When and how will this be available?

  • Employers will be able to claim from 26th May 2020
  • Details of the online rebate mechanism are expected shortly and we will update this page as soon as further information is available.

We suggest you ensure you can evidence if asked those who have been paid SSP as a consequence of COVID-19.

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