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News added on 13.07.2020

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SSP

Self-isolation and SSP

If an employee has to self-isolate more than once due to coronavirus, do they qualify for statutory sick pay (SSP) on each occasion and can you claim it back each time?

As the law currently stands, in respect of coronavirus, the following individuals are deemed to be incapacitated and so qualify for SSP if they can’t work remotely from home:

  • those with coronavirus or coronavirus symptoms
  • those who are self-isolating because they live with someone who has coronavirus symptoms
  • those who are self-isolating because they are in the same “support bubble” (linked or extended households) as someone who has coronavirus symptoms
  • those who are clinically extremely vulnerable and who have been advised to shield, until the shielding notification ends or it is overridden by a notice to expressly end shielding - shielding will end in England on 31 July 2020
  • those who are self-isolating because they have been notified by NHS Test and Trace that they have had contact with someone who has coronavirus.

SSP entitlement has not, however, been extended to those who need to undergo a 14-day post-travel quarantine on their return from those countries that are not on the government’s exempt list.

This means that it’s quite conceivable that an individual could have to self-isolate due to coronavirus on more than one occasion. If they do, they will still qualify for SSP each time as there is no limit on the number of times they can self-isolate for SSP purposes.

However, if you are a small employer, i.e. you had fewer than 250 employees on 28 February 2020 across all your PAYE payroll schemes, and so can claim back SSP for coronavirus-related incapacity under the Coronavirus Statutory Sick Pay Rebate Scheme, the amount which you can recover from HMRC is limited to £191.70 per individual employee. This equates to two weeks of SSP and it’s an absolute limit regardless of the number of times that the employee self-isolates. You can make more than one claim per employee, but you cannot claim for more than two weeks of SSP in total.

An employee will qualify for SSP each time that they’re legitimately self-isolating due to coronavirus, provided they’re not able to work from home, but if you’re a small employer the amount you can claim back in total is limited to two weeks’ SSP per employee. Large employers can’t claim back any SSP.

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