Prime minister Boris Johnson has announced emergency measures to help deal with Coronavirus.
NOW – Statutory Sick Pay (SSP)
By law, employers must pay Statutory Sick Pay (SSP) to employees who meet the SSP eligibility conditions on GOV.UK. These conditions include:
- the employee is off sick for at least 4 days in a row (including non-working days)
- the employee earns on average at least £120 per week (from 6th April 2020)
SSP is soon to rise to £95.85 per week and can be paid for up to 28 weeks. SSP is currently paid from the fourth day of sickness.
Emergency – Statutory Sick Pay (SSP) change
For those affected by Coronavirus, SSP will be made available from day one when self-isolating, instead of day four.
‘We are not at the point yet where we are asking large numbers of people to self-isolate, but that may of course come’ said the prime minister, ‘if they stay at home, they are helping to protect all of us by preventing the spread of the virus.’ He stated that ‘no one should be penalised for doing the right thing’
‘I can ..announce that the Health Secretary will bring forward… emergency legislation.. to allow the payment of Statutory Sick Pay from the very first day…’
When does it start and end?
SSP is paid by employers who will know the reason for not being at work. Employers have discretion to accept different forms of evidence as proof of sickness. With similar prior health scares self certifying options of up to 14 days has been used.
This change is a temporary measure to respond to the Coronavirus outbreak and will end when no longer required.
Other support options
The government claims to have a range of support for those who do not qualify for SSP including: Universal Credit (UC) and contributory Employment and Support Allowance (ESA).
What about payroll?
It is likely that date driven SSP absence facilities will continue to apply the 3 waiting days concept along with a 4 day Period of Incapacity to Work (PIW). However, the majority of systems and service also allow override options which would allow a means to pay day one SSP.