COVID-19: employers can now reclaim Statutory Sick Pay

Employment Law

Written by Brabners LLP

The Government’s Statutory Sick Pay rebate scheme, which was first announced several weeks ago, came into effect on 26 May 2020.

The scheme forms part of the financial support package which the Government has made available for businesses during the COVID-19 pandemic.

Under the scheme, employers with fewer than 250 employees (as at 28 February 2020) will be able to apply through an online portal for a rebate of Statutory Sick Pay (“SSP”) paid to employees who are absent as a result of Coronavirus.

The rebate is limited to 2 weeks’ worth of SSP per eligible employee. Claims under the scheme can be backdated where the first day of absence due to coronavirus fell on or after 13 March 2020.

Claims can be made under the scheme where an employee has been absent from work because they have coronavirus, but also if they have been receiving SSP whilst self-isolating, or where they have received SSP whilst shielding following receipt of a letter from the NHS or their GP advising them that they are high risk. Depending on the reason for the employee’s absence, employers can make a claim under the scheme from either of the following dates:

 

  • 13 March 2020 – if the employee had Coronavirus or the symptoms of Coronavirus, or was self-isolating because someone they live with had symptoms
  • 16 April 2020 – if the employee was shielding because of Coronavirus

 

Employers will be able to make a claim through a new online service which went live on 26 May 2020.

Employers can only claim a rebate in respect of SSP, so if employers have paid contractual sick pay in excess of the SSP rate (currently £95.85 per week) they will have to fund the additional amount themselves.

Records of the absence and rebate claim must be retained for a period of 3 years.

A link to the Government guidance on the rebate scheme is here: https://www.gov.uk/guidance/claim-back-statutory-sick-pay-paid-to-employees-due-to-coronavirus-covid-19

 

This bulletin is for general guidance purposes only and should not be used for any other purpose. Brabners is a Limited Liability Partnership

 

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