You can offer more if you have a company sick pay scheme (you cannot offer less). Company schemes are also called ‘contractual’ or ‘occupational’ sick pay and must be included in an employment contract.
There’s a separate guide to Statutory Sick Pay if you’re an employee.
If your employee is off work because of coronavirus (COVID-19)
You must pay an employee SSP if they are off work for at least 4 days and any of the following apply:
- they have coronavirus symptoms
- they are self-isolating because someone they live with has symptoms
- they are self-isolating because they’ve been notified by the NHS or public health authorities that they’ve come into contact with someone with coronavirus
- they have a letter from the NHS or a GP telling them to stay at home for at least 12 weeks (called ‘shielding’)
You must pay them from the first ‘qualifying day’ they are off work on or after:
- 13 March 2020 - if your employee has coronavirus symptoms or is self-isolating because someone they live with has symptoms
- 16 April 2020 - if your employee is shielding
- 28 May 2020 - if your employee has been notified by the NHS or Public Health that they’ve come into contact with someone with coronavirus
A ‘qualifying day’ is a day an employee usually works on.
You can reclaim up to 2 weeks’ SSP if all of the following apply:
- your employee was off work because they had coronavirus, were self-isolating or shielding
- your PAYE payroll scheme started on or before 28 February 2020
- you had fewer than 250 employees on 28 February 2020
You can reclaim up to £95.85 a week for each employee.
You cannot reclaim SSP if your employee is off sick for any other reason.
Holiday (or ‘annual leave’)
Statutory annual leave is accrued while the employee is off work sick (no matter how long they’re off) and can be taken during sick leave.