For employees that are clinically extremely vulnerable and cannot work as they have received a notification advising them to shield, they can be furloughed under the Coronavirus Job Retention Scheme.

As a minimum, they must be paid Statutory Sick Pay (SSP), where they are eligible.

When should SSP be paid?

SSP is paid from the first day of the employee’s absence from work, where they are self-isolating due to Covid-19. This might be because:

  • They are displaying symptoms or have tested positive for Covid-19;
  • Someone in their household (including linked or extended household) is displaying symptoms of, or has tested positive for Covid-19; or
  • They have been notified by the NHS or public health authorities that they have been in contact with someone with Covid-19.

Employees do not need to provide a doctor’s fit note, but they should supply:

  • An isolation note from NHS 111, if they are self-isolating and cannot work because of coronavirus; or
  • A ‘shielding note’ or a letter from their doctor or health authority advising them to shield because they are at high risk of severe illness from coronavirus.

The get an isolation note service was introduced to reduce pressure on GPs by avoiding the need for employees to contact their GP unnecessarily for evidence relating to self-isolation.

What about when an employee has to self-isolate multiple times?

Some employees might be required to self-isolate multiple times. Providing all eligibility criteria are met, the employee must be paid SSP each time they self-isolate, for the duration of their absence.

How much can employers claim?

The Coronavirus Statutory Sick Pay Rebate Scheme will repay employers the SSP paid to current or former employees.

Employers are eligible to claim back up to two weeks of SSP if:

  • They have already paid their employee’s sick pay. Click here to access the SSP calculator;
  • The claim is for an employee who is eligible for sick pay due to coronavirus;
  • The PAYE payroll scheme was created and started on or before 28 February 2020; and
  • There were fewer than 250 employees on 28 February 2020 across all the employer’s PAYE payroll schemes.

More than one claim can be made per employee, but each claim cannot be for more than two weeks in total.

The weekly rate of SSP was £94.25 before 6 April 2020 and is now £95.85.

How to claim

Claims should be made through the online Statutory Sick Pay service, this can be accessed here.

In order to claim, employers should be registered for PAYE online.

Employers should also have already:

  • Worked out the claim period; and
  • Paid the employee’s sick pay.

Multiple pay periods and employees can be claimed for at the same time.

Records must be kept detailing the SSP that has been paid and then claimed back from HMRC. These must be kept for three years after the date the payment for the claim is received.

Statutory Sick Pay is not part of the M+A Partners Payroll Service, however should you need any help or advice on this matter please do get in touch. We are able to assist with making a claim for SSP for a small fee.