In light of the many enquiries being received regarding the impact of Covid-19 we set out below some issues/options below that may be of assistance.
In normal circumstances this is payable to a person who is actually sick. However, on 13 March 2020 the Coronavirus (CV) amendment regulations were introduced to say that someone is deemed incapable of work i.e. eligible for SSP if he/she is (paraphrased):
Isolating him/herself from others to prevent infection or contamination with CV in accordance with guidance published by PHE or NHS.
Some firms are also considering the following:
- Give due notice and require (well) staff to take holiday.
- Seek agreement from staff for unpaid “sabbaticals”.
- Regards lay off can be done if permitting clause in contracts – there is no maximum period. But, staff have a right to request redundancy if laid off for 4 weeks in a row (or 6 in 13 weeks) and receive less than half a weeks’ pay for those weeks.
- If you have any pregnant women or people over 70 working for you – at present if they stay home they are not entitled to SSP (unless acting on specific medical advice for them as an individual) but they are meant to take extra care so you should liaise with them regards working from home if possible or other precautionary measures.
- Cut jobs – drastic and last resort – and seek advice if making any redundancies.
- Get voluntary agreement to temporary reduction in hours or pay – again take advice.
There is speculation that perhaps government will do something regarding assistance with payrolls but nothing as yet. Also please note planned changes to IR35 which were coming in this April have been delayed by a year, so current usage of contractors should not yet be affected.