Statutory Sick Pay relief for SMEs during the coronavirus crisis

In this guide, we unpack the revisions the government has made to the Statutory Sick Pay scheme as a result of coronavirus.

15 April 2020

Statutory Sick Pay (SSP) relief for SMEs

What is it?

SMEs and employers can reclaim any Statutory Sick Pay (SSP) they’ve paid for absence due to sickness from coronavirus, on or after 13 March 2020 for a maximum of two weeks. While SSP claims can usually only be made from the fourth day of absence, the new scheme means it can be made from the first.

Am I eligible?

  • you’ll need to have fewer than 250 employees as of 28 February 2020
  • you'll need to have had a PAYE payroll scheme that was created and started on or before 28 February 2020

Which employees can claim SSP?

The scheme is available for:

  • full-time employees
  • part-time employees
  • employees on agency contracts
  • employees on flexible or zero-hour contracts

In order to be eligible for SSP, employees must:

  • have coronavirus or be unable to work because they are self-isolating
  • have an employment contract
  • have worked under their contract
  • earn an average of at least £120 per week
  • give you the correct notice

Use this SSP calculator to see if you are eligible.

What can I claim?

You can claim two weeks of sick leave per employee for coronavirus. Employees will not require a doctor's note to prove that they are unwell.

What records should I keep?

You should keep records of:

  • the reason why an employee could not work
  • details of each period when an employee could not work, including start and end dates
  • details of the dates an employee could not work
  • National Insurance numbers of all employees you have paid SSP to

How do I apply?

The government has not yet released details of how SMEs will be able to claim back SSP. They are advising business owners to keep accurate records of staff sickness to be submitted once this is in place. iwoca will release further information on this as it becomes available.

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Dan is part of the content team at iwoca. He writes articles explaining financial topics, as well as guides on the best support for small businesses during coronavirus.

Article updated on: 8 October 2020

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