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.
- 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.
- 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.
- What’s the government asking from employers?
- 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.
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