Coronavirus, SSP changes, and you

16th Mar 2020
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On March 11, Chancellor Rishi Sunak delivered a new £12 billion plan to combat the Coronavirus. This includes temporary changes to SSP legislation and support for employers. Here’s what bureaux, employers and employees need to know.

1. What’s changing?

Under the current legislation, employees must wait three days before they are eligible to start receiving SSP. Under the new changes, this is what we can expect.

  • Employees will be able to receive SSP from day 1 (meaning no waiting period).
  • Employees will receive an extra £40, on top of the standard rate of £94.25 per week, up to a maximum of 28 weeks.

2. Support for employers

The government will be supporting small and medium-sized businesses to cope with the extra costs of paying early SSP due to COVID-19. 

  • The government will be working with employers to set up repayment schemes as soon as possible.
  • The refund will be limited to two weeks per employee.
  • Employers with fewer than 250 employees will be eligible.
  • The eligible period for the scheme will commence from the day the temporary SSP changes come into effect.

3. What’s the government asking from employers

  • Employers are being told to review their current payroll solution - this may be the time to switch to a software platform that can facilitate the new temporary SSP entitlements
  • The government is asking employers to use their discretion and not require a GP fit note for COVID-19 related absences. Instead, the government and NHS have announced plans to bring forward a temporary alternative to the fit note in the coming weeks which can be used for the duration of the COVID-19 outbreak. 
  • Employers should maintain records of staff absences, but should not require employees to provide a GP fit note.
  • Employers will be able to reclaim expenditure for any employee who has claimed SSP (according to the new eligibility criteria) as a result of COVID 19.

4. What can you do? 

Situations like this prove now more than ever, it’s time to ditch restrictive platforms and move to a more flexible payroll platform. KeyPay, for example, offers a payroll conditions engine that gives bureaux and employers the ability to configure and automate pay rules and even allows for current rules such as SSP requirements to be overwritten.

During times like these, taking precautions and ensuring the safety of your employees is always the best approach. so if you are already lucky enough to have a payroll solution that allows for this kind of flexibility - good for you - if not, it might be time to give KeyPay a try (30 days free).

We will be releasing regular updates as we hear them, so be sure to follow us on LinkedIn and AccountingWeb to stay in the loop.