What employers need to know about sick pay


The rules around Statutory Sick Pay have changed to lighten the load for small businesses.

The number of employees off sick or in forced isolation will reach unprecedented levels as a result of Covid-19. In response, the UK government has changed the rules around sick pay. Here is an overview of the guidance for businesses that employ up to 250 people.

If there is no set contractual sick pay, and an employee’s average weekly earnings are above £118, employers have to pay Statutory Sick Pay (SSP) of £94.25 per week to anyone too ill to work for up to 28 weeks. This is set to increase to £95.85/week on 6 April.

As part of its response to the pandemic, the government will meet the cost of Covid-19 related SSP for businesses with up to 250 employees for 14 days. This rule came into force on 13 March 2020 and will remain in force for eight months.

SSP will apply for individuals suffering from Covid-19 as well as those who are advised to self-isolate, even if they haven’t yet presented with symptoms, according to government guidance.

The rules have also been changed so that employees are eligible for SSP on their first day away from work. Previously employees had to wait until the fourth day of absence.

The government is also looking to support the self-employed who are not eligible for SSP via Universal Credit or Employment and Support Allowance.

For the latest information see the government Covid-19 guidance for businesses and employers and SSP eligibility guidance.


Disclaimer: This information was correct at time of publication but please check with official sources for the latest updates. None of the information in this article should be treated as financial advice.

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