An update to statutory sick pay COVID rules

With the end of the coronavirus pandemic now in sight, the government has recently announced a
change to Statutory Sick Pay (SSP), effective from 24th March. This is in line with the mandatory self-
isolation periods being dropped as we move to live with the virus. Whilst a positive shift for businesses that have been impacted by staff shortages throughout covid, it’s important to update your payroll services to reflect the change in legislation. Self-isolation periods also remain in place for Scotland, Wales and Northern Ireland.

Remember it is up to you as an employer to decide what sick pay you offer to employees, but you must ensure Statutory Sick Pay (SSP) rules are met. You can also only claim a rebate for SSP paid to employees within the criteria detailed here. Day 1 Payments will be dropped from March 24th.

Mandatory self-isolation has now been scrapped in England, but remains in place for Scotland, Wales and Northern Ireland. Changes to SSP however apply to all devolved nations, and employees will no longer be eligible for SSP from Day 1. Employees who are out of work due to illness will be able to claim SSP from Day 4 as of 24th March.

Statutory Sick Pay rates will return to pre-covid rules. Employees will therefore be eligible for £96.35 per week, from Day 4, for a maximum of 28 weeks.

If using outsourced payroll services, you should contact your payroll provider ahead of the deadline and make sure this has been corrected. It might also be sensible to update your employees about the changes and what it means for them.

Test and Trace Support Payments have now ended

Throughout the pandemic, some workers on a low income have been eligible for a payment of £500 if they have tested positive for coronavirus and are unable to work. If any of your employees had to self-isolate before 24th February and meet the criteria as set out by the government here they can still make a claim before the start of the 2022/23 financial year.

These payments are not paid via payroll however as an employer, you must ensure that you have a record of any employees that have received a Test and Trace Support payment as their tax code may change on or after the 6th April.

Covid rules remain fluid in response to the pandemic and you should pay close attention to changes separately across England, Scotland, Wales and Northern Ireland. UK employees outside of England may have additional questions as they may be required to isolate without pay.

If this sounds complicated and feel like keeping on top of legislative changes might be difficult, you should consider an outsourced payroll provider such as Qualitas. We can give you peace of mind not only in ensuring legislative changes are up to date, but to communicate these changes to employees.

For more information on how we could help you, get in touch today.