Important information regarding Sick Pay and Covid.19 Virus.

You may have heard that the Government has announced that as a result of the current Covid.19 virus situation, employees that are entitled to Statutory Sick Pay (SSP) will be paid from day 1 rather than day 4 of their absence.

The general current rules are the employee must:

  • be classed as an employee and have done some work for the employer
  • have been ill for at least 4 days in a row (including non-working days)
  • earn an average of at least £118 per week
  • tell your employer you’re sick before their deadline - or within 7 days if they do not have one

It is important to note there are exceptions to this and the above applies only to SSP, if an employer has a policy which pays additional sick pay over and above SSP this will be calculated according to that policy however the employer must not pay less.

The Prime Minister announced on 4 March 2020 that SSP will be made available from day one when self-isolating, instead of day four, the move will be included in emergency legislation to deal with coronavirus. However, there is currently no guidance about when the legislation will be passed, although we expect this to be imminent and whether there will be a retrospective policy regarding SSP.

Additionally, when SSP is paid to the employee this is fully funded by the employer, SSP recovery ceased in 2015. Until the new legislation is published it is not clear whether this additional element of sick pay can be recovered from employers’ payments to HMRC.

We have not yet had clarification on how the 7-day fitness to work note rule will work in the case of ‘self-isolation’, again this should be clarified in the coming days. We recommend that employers continue to keep accurate records of any staff sickness along with the reason for this, if we process your payroll we will make the required adjustments depending on the relevant circumstances.

It is important to note that we can only process payroll according to the relevant legislation, rules and tax rates and it may be necessary to make adjustments in the employees next pay period should any tax or SSP policy become retrospective, we will do this automatically.

For further information please contact us of 01908 597904, if we currently don't process your payroll then why not ask about our services? Let us make accounting easy!