What is it?
Small-and medium-sized businesses and employers to reclaim Statutory Sick Pay (SSP) paid for sickness absence due to COVID-19. SSP is payable from day one of sickness absence.
Am I eligible?
The eligibility criteria for the scheme will be as follows:
- this refund will cover up to 2 weeks’ SSP per eligible employee who has been off work because of COVID-19
- employers with fewer than 250 employees will be eligible – the size of an employer will be determined by the number of people they employed as of 28 February 2020
- 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. If evidence is required by an employer, those with symptoms of coronavirus can get an isolation note from NHS 111 online and those who live with someone that has symptoms can get a note from the NHS website
- Eligible period for the scheme will commence the day after the regulations on the extension of SSP to those staying at home comes into force
If you are not eligible for SSP – for example if you are self-employed you have COVID-19 or are advised to stay at home, you can now make a claim for Universal Credit or a new style Employment and Support Allowance. From 6 April 2020, the requirements of the Minimum Income Floor will be temporarily relaxed and will last for the duration of the outbreak. New claimants will not need to attend the jobcentre to demonstrate gainful self-employment.
What do I need to do to access it?
A rebate scheme is being developed. Further details will be provided in due course once the legalisation has passed.
Who do I need to speak to?
TBC, but likely to be the Department for Work and Pensions.