What are the standard Statutory Sick Pay rules?

Employees (including agency workers) are entitled to Statutory sick pay at £94.25 a week, for up to 28 weeks, except for the first 3 days of illness which are called “waiting days” if they

  • have been ill for at least 4 days in a row and
  • earn an average of at least £118 per week,

Employers cannot recover from the government SSP paid to employees

What are the new measures related to COVID-19?

From 13 March 2020 , employees (including agency workers) are entitled to Statutory sick pay at £94.25 a week, for up to 28 weeks, including the first 3 days of illness if they

  • have been ill for at least 4 days in a row due to COVID-19 OR
  • are unable to work because they have been advised to self-isolate due to COVID-19 OR
  • are caring for those within the same household who display COVID-19 symptoms and have been told to self-isolate

Employers with fewer than 250 employees as of 28th February will be eligible for a refund. “The government will work with employers representatives over the coming months to set up a repayment mechanism”

Employers should keep records of staff absences.

Coronavirus Job Retention Scheme

The official information from the government is this:

You will need to:

  • designate affected employees as ‘furloughed workers,’ and notify your employees of this change – changing the status of employees remains subject to existing employment law and, depending on the employment contract, may be subject to negotiation
  • submit information to HMRC about the employees that have been furloughed and their earnings through a new online portal (HMRC will set out further details on the information required)

HMRC will reimburse 80% of furloughed workers wage costs, up to a cap of £2,500 per month. HMRC are working urgently to set up a system for reimbursement. Existing systems are not set up to facilitate payments to employers.

Business Rates

If you are responsible for the rates for your office and qualify for Small Business Rates Relief  you may be eligible for the £10,000.00 grant announced by the government. This doesn’t mean that you are paying rates, you are most likely getting an invoice from your council every year in March for “National Non-Domestic Rates” showing the rateable value of your premises, an amount for the rates, and a full or partial deduction for Small Business Rates Relief.

If that is the case, you should expect a £10,000 grant. This has been announced by the government, but will be administered by your local authority and should be made available to you by the end of April.