The best way to manage COVID-19 related statutory sick pay

25th Sep 2020
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The rules in relation to Statutory Sick Pay have changed as a result of COVID-19. Even as we return to work, the risk of COVID-19 is still present, and so it is important for all employers to understand how these changes will affect them.

HMRC have advised that if an employee needs to take time off sick or to self-isolate due to COVID-19, the first 3 waiting days that normally apply for SSP will be disregarded and the employee will be entitled to receive SSP from the first day.

With the Coronavirus Statutory Sick Pay Rebate Scheme, the employer can claim for up to 2 weeks sick leave for an employee that cannot work due to COVID-19, and also those who are self-isolating or shielding, subject to eligibility criteria. The online service that employers can use to reclaim COVID-19 Related SSP is now available here.

What About Employees Already On Furlough?

Furloughed employees retain their statutory rights, including their right to Statutory Sick Pay, and so furloughed employees who become ill must be paid at least the rate of SSP, subject to them meeting the eligibility criteria. You can claim back from both the Coronavirus Job Retention Scheme and the SSP rebate scheme for the same employee but not for the same period of time.

If an employee becomes sick while furloughed, it is up to the employers to decide whether to move these employees onto Statutory Sick Pay or to keep them on furlough, at their furloughed rate. If the employee is moved onto SSP, employers can no longer claim for the furloughed salary. Whereas, if the employee is kept on the furloughed rate, they remain eligible for the employer to claim for these costs through the furlough scheme.

How To Use BrightPay To Manage SSP

We have programmed BrightPay 20/21 so that there is a new option for ‘COVID-19 Related Sick Leave’. By choosing this option, the payroll software will automatically apply any SSP due to the employee from day one. Whereas, if you were to choose the normal SSP, the software will take into account the usual 3 waiting days.

An SSP Claim Report is also available in BrightPay to assist users in ascertaining the amounts needed for input into HMRC's Coronavirus SSP Rebate Scheme online service.

We’ve created step-by-step guides to help you navigate these new features in BrightPay.

Free End of CJRS Webinar

Join us on the 7th October as we look at what’s in store for employers over the coming months as the Coronavirus Job Retention Scheme ends and ask key questions: Can you avail of the Job Retention Bonus? What are the rules in relation to redundancies? Will remote working remain beyond 2020? Register now

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