Statutory Sick Pay Eligibility For Those Self-Isolating Or Shielding Due To Coronavirus
If your employee is sick or incapable of work, you must pay them a minimum of Statutory Sick Pay (SSP), where they are eligible.
If your employee is clinically extremely vulnerable and cannot work because they have received a notification advising them to shield, you can furlough them under the Coronavirus Job Retention Scheme if you are eligible to do so.
As a minimum, you must pay them SSP, where they are eligible.
You must pay SSP from the first day of your employee’s absence from work if they are self-isolating due to COVID-19.
This could be because:
- They are displaying symptoms of, or have tested positive for, COVID-19.
- Someone in their household (including linked or extended household) is displaying symptoms of, or has tested positive for COVID-19.
- They have been notified by the NHS or public health authorities that they have been in contact with someone with COVID-19.
Your employee may be required to self-isolate multiple times. Each time they are required to self-isolate “provided all eligibility criteria are met” they must receive SSP for the duration of their absence.
Small and medium employers can reclaim up to two weeks of SSP paid per employee for absences related to COVID-19.
The get an isolation note service Get an isolation note – NHS (111.nhs.uk) was introduced to reduce pressure on GPs by avoiding the need for employees to contact their GP unnecessarily for evidence relating to self-isolation. Employers should use their discretion around the need for medical evidence where an employee is advised to self-isolate in accordance with public health advice. Employers can check an isolation note is valid by using the Check an isolation note – NHS (111.nhs.uk)
Employers Who Operate A Childcare Voucher Scheme
Many employees are now working differently and may not require their usual childcare services.
Existing users of the childcare voucher scheme can continue to receive childcare vouchers but may wish to temporarily receive a lower amount so that they don’t build a large stockpile of vouchers over time.
You may want to remind your employees that they can reduce their contribution by speaking with you and agreeing to a new lower amount (both the employer and employee must consent).
If your employees receive childcare vouchers via salary sacrifice, check they aren’t better off financially on Tax-Free Childcare. Tax-Free Childcare (TFC) supports eligible working parents with the costs of childcare.
Across the UK, for every £8 paid into a childcare account, the government contributes an extra £2, up to £2,000 per child (under 12 years old) per year, and £4,000 for children (under 17 years old) who are disabled.
Some families who currently use childcare vouchers could be better off on TFC. Therefore, if your employees are currently in receipt of childcare vouchers, they may want to check to see if they might be financially better off on TFC.