COVID-19 Update: Statutory Sick Pay Scheme
On Tuesday 26th May 2020, HM Treasury officially opened its gateway for the arrival of applications from small businesses and employers in the UK who have paid statutory sick pay to staff who have taken sick leave for reasons associated with COVID-19.
The scheme has been established for the purposes of assisting employers and small businesses with fewer than 250 staff members during the pandemic. It permits them to be reimbursed by the UK government for the costs of paying out Statutory Sick Pay (SSP) specifically in relation to the coronavirus. This will cover up to two weeks’ worth of SSP that is COVID-19 related, worth approximately £200.00 per employee.
Online applications can be completed and submitted via the UK government’s website. The scheme is overseen by HMRC, who will approve applications and make the grant to these employers and businesses. Applicants should expect to be in receipt of the grant within six working days.
All types of employment contracts are applicable for the scheme. This includes:
- Agency contracts
- Flexible or zero-hour contracts
Tax agents may make a claim on behalf of their employers. This is also the case for connected companies and charities which have fewer than 250 PAYE employees in total on or prior to 28th February 2020. A formal note from an employee’s medical doctor is not required to make a claim.
The sick leave taken by the employee and the SSP paid out to that employee must be solely associated with COVID-19. This includes if an employee had coronavirus, symptoms or has had to place themselves in self-quarantine because they either reside with someone who has symptoms or for self-shielding purposes.
The grant will cover up to two weeks’ worth of SSP from either 13th March 2020 or from 16th April 2020 if an employee was self-shielding owing to the coronavirus.
Should an employee be place on furloughed leave under the Coronavirus Job Retention Scheme, they are no longer entitled to receive SSP from their employer. If an employee has not been furloughed, then they are entitled to receive the rebate for up to two weeks’ of SSP from 16th April 2020.
Should you have any queries regarding the above information or if you are an employer and require legal advice, please get in touch with a legal professional at Hudson McKenzie via email at firstname.lastname@example.org or by telephone +44(0)20 3318 5794.