Here to Help: Everything you need to know regarding Statutory Sick Pay and COVID-19

everything you need to know regarding statutory sick pay and covid-19
By Anthony Wolny | 25th March 2020 | 14 min read

As COVID-19 cases increase each day, the need for up to date and compliant Statutory Sick Pay (SSP) is a necessity for every employer.

However, as we’re seeing changes and new legislation brought in daily, it’s becoming extraordinarily difficult to keep up.

To support, we’ve compiled all the information currently available to help you with your responsibility.

Statutory Sick Pay

Statutory Sick Pay is currently £94.25 per week and is paid by employers for up to 28 weeks, but from Monday 6th April the rate will be raised to £95.85 and LEL will be £120 per week.

The government stated, “If you are staying at home because of COVID-19 you can now claim SSP. This includes individuals who are caring for people in the same household and therefore have been advised to do a household quarantine.”

How do employees qualify for Statutory Sick Pay?

For employees to be eligible, they must meet the following criteria:

  • Have an employment contract
  • Have done work under their contract
  • Earn an average of at least £118 per week
  • Provide the correct notice
  • Provide proof of their illness

Acquiring proof of sickness

Those who have COVID-19 are advised to stay at home and can acquire an ‘isolation note’ by visiting NHS 111 online, instead of visiting their doctor.

The isolation note replaces the usual need to provide a sick note after the typical 7 days of sickness.

When does Statutory Sick Pay start for COVID-19 cases?

The government has stated that those off as a result of COVID-19 are to be paid from day one of their absence, rather than day four.

What if you have to self-isolate because a family member is sick?

Statutory Sick Pay is paid for 14 days to those self-isolating because they are caring for people in the same household and therefore have been advised to do a household quarantine.

What if you’re self-employed and not eligible for Statutory Sick Pay?

Those who are self-employed or earning below the £118 limit can claim Universal Credit (UC) or new style Employment and Support Allowance.

What if I need to stay at home to look after my children?

If you’re staying at home to self-isolate, you’re entitled to the 14 days Statutory Sick Pay.

However, if you’re purely taking time off to care for your children, you’re entitled to take dependency leave but it’s important to state that the time is unpaid.

Furloughed workers

The Government has introduced measures to protect jobs during the COVID-19 pandemic and is going to cover 80% of wages up to £2,500 each month of employees who would otherwise have been made redundant or requested to take unpaid leave during the crisis – this is known as Furlough Leave.

For more information on this, check out our blog and to find out how much you can claim to cover wages for UK employees furloughed via the government scheme, check out HMRC's Furlough Calculator here.

We’re here to help

At IRIS it’s our goal to bring you certainty in uncertain times. We’ve recently put together a one-page document examining how you can keep your payroll running.

To download the document, click here.

Also, please note that all the information in this blog is subject to change and we will do our best to update you on all the latest developments.