Friday, 07 August 2020 13:31

Statutory Sick Pay Clarity?

Throughout the coronavirus crisis it has been our mission to keep you up to date with the latest news and guidance from Government to enable you to remain fair and legal when dealing with your employees. With the rules and guidelines changing almost daily, particularly in the early days and weeks, it’s been quite a challenge.

There has been a recent update to Government guidance regarding Statutory Sick Pay (SSP) and how we should be dealing with and treating employees in various scenarios where Covid-19 is in play, including precautionary isolation. We had set out to analyse and précis this guidance, but we’ve established that it remains a minefield and far too complicated to summarise in a few hundred words.

There have been a number of key dates from which legislation and guidance has changed which complicates matters even further as the rules that should be applied to any specific event will depend upon the guidance at the time. With so many changes and amendments to Government policy, we’ve concluded that cases regarding SSP are probably best dealt with on an individual basis.

Nevertheless, we have manged to isolate some key points which may help you to determine your position regarding SSP, if and when you have any employees that become ill or have to self-isolate. These are:

  • SME employers (less than 250 employees) can claim back up to two weeks of SSP per employee but only for Covid-19 related cases
  • Self-isolation owing to symptoms in the employee or a member of the employee’s household or support bubble qualifies for SSP
  • The employee must still qualify for SSP in the normal ways:
    • Be classed as an employee
    • Earn at least £120 per week
    • Been ill or isolating/shielding for at least four days in a row (known as qualifying days)
  • Once the four qualifying days are reached, SSP will count from day 1 of the illness or isolation; so is effectively backdated for Covid cases
  • Where an Employee is isolating because a household member has symptoms, SSP ends if that person tests negative for Covid
  • Employees are still required to provide a ‘fit-note’ if they are absent for more than seven days but his can be in the form of an isolation note which is available online from NHS111
  • Quarantining because an employee has recently returned to or entered the UK from a country not on the Government’s ‘safe list’ does not qualify for SSP

Of course we live and breath this kind of information at HR Champions so if you require any clarification or have a more complicated case, we’re available for consultation on 01452 331331 or via e-mail at This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.


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HR Champions provide first class HR and Employment Law support and advice to UK businesses; operationally and strategically. If you're an employer you'll potentially need some, if not all, of the services we offer.

We deliver excellent management and soft skills training suitable for all organisational levels. We are ILM and City & Guild accredited and Ken Blanchard approved.  





We are located in Gloucester in the West of the UK close to the M4 and M5 corridors. For a precise map and directions find us on Google Maps

We have clients all over the UK but predominantly within about an hour's drive time of our offices; in Gloucestershire, South Gloucestershire, Worcestershire, Bristol and Swindon & Wiltshire.