Access the SSP relief package for small businesses affected by coronavirus COVID-19
The government are helping smaller employers by changing the way Statutory Sick Pay (SSP) deals with absences due to coronavirus COVID-19. We explain how the SSP relief package works and who can use it.
What is the SSP relief package?
Under the SSP relief scheme, employers can reclaim up to two weeks’ worth of Statutory Sick Pay if it has been paid to employees for sickness absences as a result of COVID-19.
It also means that SSP will be paid from the first day of COVID-19 absences, rather than day four as is standard.
Who can use the SSP COVID-19 relief scheme?
The scheme is for smaller employers to reclaim the costs of up to two weeks of sick pay for any employee who has been off because of coronavirus.
Only employers with fewer than 250 employees as of 28th February 2020 qualify for the scheme.
They can only reclaim up to two weeks’ worth of SSP, even if the employee has been off for longer.
SSP is only reimbursed where the sickness absence is due to coronavirus COVID-19.
This doesn’t change that the fact that employees need to qualify for SSP under normal rules. The ‘day one’ rule also only applies if the employee is claiming SSP because of COVID-19.
Do I need to ask my employee for a fit note?
While employers should be keeping records of staff absences and SSP payments, you don’t need to ask employees for a fit note (or ‘sick note’) which proves they were off with COVID-19.
You can ask employees to provide an isolation note if you need one for your own records.
What if my employee doesn’t qualify for SSP?
If an employee takes sick leave as a result of coronavirus but they don’t qualify for SSP, then you won’t be able (or need) to reclaim SSP for them.
You will still need to complete form SSP1 and send it to them, so that they can make a claim for Universal Credit or Employment & Support Allowance if they want to.
Accessing the scheme
The mechanism for the rebate scheme hasn’t yet been confirmed, though the government have promised to bring forward the legislation needed to make this happen.