Coronavirus - Spring Budget 2020 Impact on Small Businesses

As Coronavirus (COVID-19) is declared a pandemic by the World Health Organisation, the government announced, as part of its Spring 2020 Budget, specific coronavirus related measures in order to try prevent as much disruption to the country’s economy as possible by balancing the welfare of employees with the needs of businesses.

One such measure is that the government will reimburse the cost of statutory sick pay (SSP) that businesses with up to 250 employees (as of 28 February 2020) pay to workers who are self-isolating. The refund is capped at 2 weeks per employee, who have to have claimed SSP according to the new eligibility criteria, as a result of COVID-19. Whilst the government recommends that employers maintain records of any staff absences, they have also said employees should not be required to provide a GP fit note.

Businesses will be eligible to claim the refund from the day on which the regulations extending SSP to individuals self-isolating come into force (the date of which is to be confirmed). Whilst the government has not said when businesses will receive the reimbursements, they have said they will be working over the coming months to try ensure this is done as soon as possible, and this will no doubt be reassuring news to many following the government’s earlier recent announcement that individuals who have COVID-19 or have to self isolate (in accordance with government guidelines) will temporarily be paid SSP from the first day of sickness absence, as apposed to from the 4th day which is the position under existing legislation.

Posted on: 12/03/2020

This article is for general guidance only. It provides useful information in a concise form. Action should not be taken without obtaining specific legal advice.

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