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How to apply for a coronavirus statutory sick pay refund

Everything you need to know about the coronavirus statutory sick pay refund, including who’s eligible and how to apply

As employees across the UK are urged to self-isolate, small businesses were relieved when the government announced it would refund the cost of statutory sick pay (SSP) for employees self-isolating according to government guidelines.

This article will explain who is eligible for the refund, what your eligible employees need to do, and how to apply.

Who is eligible for a coronavirus statutory sick pay refund

According to the official government guidance on the statutory sick pay refund scheme, there are two key criteria for the scheme:

  • Firstly, the scheme is only intended to help small and medium-sized businesses, so your business must have fewer than 250 employees (as of 28 February 2020).
  • Secondly, as the government is advising people to self-isolate for 14 days, SSP will be repaid for a maximum of 14 days.

Additionally, the government advises that businesses wishing to apply for the refund need to keep records of staff absences and SSP payments.

Currently, SSP is worth £94.25 per week, per employee.


What your eligible employees need to do

Alongside the announcement of the SSP refund scheme, the government made two key changes to standard SSP protocol.

  • Coronavirus SSP is paid from day one of self-isolation, rather than the conventional four days.
  • Employees who are self-isolating will be able to self-certify via the NHS 111 service, rather than needing to get a sick note from a GP. This service is still under development, but is expected to launch shortly.

How to to apply for a coronavirus statutory sick pay refund

Currently, very little information is available on how the SSP refund will actually work.

The official guidance is that “the government will work with employers over the coming months to set up the repayment mechanism for employers as soon as possible”.


Summary

  • To claim an SSP refund, businesses must have fewer than 250 employees
  • SSP will be refunded for a maximum of 14 days
  • SSP is currently worth £94.25 per week, per employee
  • Eligible businesses should keep records of staff absences and SSP payments
  • Coronavirus SSP is payable from day 1 of self-isolation
  • Employees will be able to self-certify via the NHS 111 service (this is under development
  • It’s not yet been announced how to apply, the government is working with employers to set up the repayment mechanism

For details on other measures designed to support small businesses struggling with the impact of coronavirus, see our “as it happened” 2020 budget coverage.

Alec Hawley
Alec Hawley

Alec is Startups’ resident expert on mobiles, investment, and politics. Before joining, he worked in the media for over a decade, conducting media analysis at Kantar Media and YouGov, writing for computer games sites like Gaming Respawn and Gamespew, and taking on a wide variety of freelance roles.