Earlier this week, the government announced a widening of the scope of statutory sick pay (SSP) to ensure that it is paid from day one of sickness to individuals diagnosed with COVID-19, rather than day four. It has now been announced that SSP will also be paid to individuals who have been advised to self-isolate in line with government advice.
In addition, the government will provide support for small and medium sized businesses by refunding eligible SSP costs which have to be paid as a consequence of COVID-19. The criteria are:
There is no mechanism currently in place to facilitate such refunds, but the government will work with employers to set this up as soon as possible.
Employers with fewer than 250 employees on 28 February will benefit from these refund arrangements.
The refund arrangements will come into force at the same time as the Regulations providing that the payment of SSP will be extended to those employees who have been advised to self-isolate.
This measure is a welcome help for small and medium sized employers to assist with the cost of paying statutory sick pay as a result of COVID-19.