Coronavirus: Employers and Statutory Sick Pay

Coronavirus: Employers and Statutory Sick Pay…


We cover some of the details of the Statutory Sick Pay Rebate Scheme (SSPRS) introduced as a result of Covid-19.


When is SSP due in relation to Coronavirus?

Its important to divide employees into three categories affected by coronavirus.

  • Those unavoidably absent from work before 13 March. Normal SSP waiting days apply so SSP due from fourth qualifying day.
  • Those unavoidably absent from work on or after 13 March. SSP due from the first qualifying day.
  • “Unavoidably absent” above means those directly affected by Covid-19 or needing to self-isolate due to Covid-19, for example caring for those in same household sick due to Covid-19. Employees who are not working as they have chosen to self-isolate and are not sick are deemed to be making themselves unavailable for work and so SSP does not apply.

Other normal SSP eligibility rules apply in relation to Covid-19 related SSP claims, as they also apply to other non Covid-19 related SSP claims taking place during this period.


How to employees prove they have been affected by Covid-19

Its recommended they obtain an isolation note via NHS 111 which can be done online. This replaces the usual need for a ‘fit-note’ after seven days of sickness absence.


Which employers are eligible to claim back the SSP from the government?

Eligible employers are those with fewer than 250 employees on their payroll as at 28 February 2020.

It does not matter whether employees are full time, part time, zero-hours contracts, etc. Every employee on the payroll counts towards the 250 limit.

Where there are several connected companies, with more than 250 staff across all payrolls, they will need to carefully assess their eligibility.


What can be reclaimed?

Up to two weeks of SSP paid to affected employees, for periods of sickness starting from 13 March 2020.


How is the reclaim made?

The online service for employers to claim from is not yet available. Once live it is expected to be at:


What records does the employer need to keep?

Employers must keep for at least three years records of all the SSP claimed from HMRC, including:

  • the reason for sickness specific to that employee and their NI number.
  • start and end dates of sickness period, along with details of SSP qualifying days