Employers must now operate two parallel systems of Statutory Sick Pay (SSP) for their employees: COVID-19 related SSP and SSP for all other health related matters that prevent employees from working.
In both cases, the employee must earn at least £120 per week and have informed their employer of the illness. In general, SSP is payable from the fourth day the employee is unable to work, but COVID-19-related SSP is payable from the first day of work absence.
To qualify for the COVID-19 related SSP, the employee must meet one of the following conditions on or after the date shown:
- has symptoms of coronavirus (12 March);
- lives with, or is in a linked or extended household with, someone who has symptoms (13 March)
- shielding in accordance with public health guidance (16 April)
- has been informed that they have had contact with a person who was, at the time of the contact, infected with coronavirus (28 May)
- lives with someone who has tested positive for coronavirus (30 July)
- has tested positive for coronavirus (isolation extended to 10 days from 5 August)
- staying at home prior to being admitted to hospital (26 August)
Where the employee has been paid COVID-19-related SSP, the employer can reclaim up to two weeks of that cost from HMRC, if their total payroll count was less than 250 on 28 February 2020. Also, the business should not have been in difficulty at 31 December 2019.
No amount of SSP paid in relation to other health conditions can be reclaimed by the employer.