The government has announced that the Statutory Sick Pay (SSP) Reimbursement Regulations come into force on Tuesday 26 May 2020. The regulations form part of the government's financial support to businesses during the COVID-19 pandemic.
The regulations entitle employers with fewer than 250 employees (as of 28 February 2020) to apply to HMRC for reimbursement of SSP paid for sickness absence due to COVID-19. You will also need a PAYE payroll scheme that was created on or before 28 February 2020.
There is a limit of two weeks' SSP which can be reimbursed per eligible employee, and the first day of incapacity due to coronavirus has to fall on or after Friday 13 March 2020 (i.e. your employee had coronavirus or its symptoms, or was self-isolating because someone they live with has symptoms). If your employee was shielding because of coronavirus, you can claim for absences commencing on or after Thursday 16 April 2020.
Employers will be able to make their SSP claims through an online service from 26 May 2020. Employees do not have to provide a sick note, but you can ask them to give you either an isolation note from NHS 111, or an NHS/GP letter telling them to stay home for 12 weeks because they are at high risk of severe illness from coronavirus.
The weekly rate of SSP was £94.25 before 6 April 2020 and is now £95.85. If you are an employer paying more than the weekly rate of SSP, you can still only claim up to the weekly rate. There is no end date for the scheme yet.
Information contained in our COVID-19 articles and publications is correct at the time of print. This is, however, a constantly evolving situation across the globe and specific advice and guidance should be sought as required.