The Chancellor announced in today's budget that small employers will be able to recover statutory sick pay costs for up to 14 days for any member of staff who is advised to self isolate or is diagnosed with the coronavirus.
SSP is payable even if the employee doesn't have any symptoms.
Glenn Hayes, an employment partner here comments:
"Many businesses have been worried about how they’ll cope with meeting the costs of statutory sick pay if many staff members become ill or are advised to self-isolate. Reimbursing small employers for these costs will certainly help but the budget does nothing to assist businesses employing more than 250 staff. If predictions are correct, up to a fifth of the workforce may be affected – that’s a huge cost for businesses, many of whom may also have to engage agency or bank staff to cover staff absence which will also add to their costs. Those businesses that rely on foot fall may already have seen a drop in demand and will be less able to cope with large sick pay costs.
“There was some suggestion that the government might temporarily increase the amount of SSP to encourage more people to stay at home if they have minor symptoms or are asked to self-isolate because, for many, being paid £94.25 per week, is a drop in the ocean compared to their actual lost income. There’s nothing in the budget about this. Some employers are paying staff full pay, but this may not be sustainable in the long run, if significant numbers of people are affected.”