Coronavirus | statutory sick pay SSP


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Accountant for salon owners
Jun 20, 2017
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In preparation for salon and spa staff taking time off for the corona virus, I’ve revisited the rules around statutory sick pay SSP.

It’s in law that you have to pay SSP; but you cannot reclaim it back
Since 6th April 2014, an employer can no longer claim back any SSP it has paid to its employees. The SSP paid is therefore an absolute cost to the salon owner.
SSP is £94.25 a week for up to 28 weeks
  • The employee must be sick and off work for 4 days or more
  • You do not have to pay SSP for the first 3 days – just from day 4 onwards
  • Must be paid to an employee for the days they would usually work
  • It is paid to the employee as part of your usual 4-weekly or monthly pay run
  • The employee will be liable to pay tax and national insurance on the amounts
  • You cannot force your employees to take annual leave when they’re eligible for sick leave
  • If the employee works for more than 1 minute, that day is not considered a sick day
Other rules to bear in mind:
You may not have to pay SSP if any of the following is true:
  • the employee has not yet done work for you under their employment contract (ie has not yet started)
  • the employee has earned an average of at less than £118 per week
  • the employee has not given you the correct notice (e.g. within the time limit set by you, or 7 days if you have not set one) see details here here
Self employed peeps (eg chair renters)
For self employed stylists and therapists, there’s no SSP; and also no other government benefits they can claim for time off sick.
They may have private health insurance but would have to check if Corona Virus is covered
I’m in Ireland so I’m not up to speed with the UK law on this.
The current guidelines from the Irish govt. is to self isolate for up to 14 days if you have potentially been in contact with someone with the virus.

Are employers in the U.K. being encouraged to pay sick pay if someone self isolates?
I’m in Ireland so I’m not up to speed with the UK law on this.
The current guidelines from the Irish govt. is to self isolate for up to 14 days if you have potentially been in contact with someone with the virus.

Are employers in the U.K. being encouraged to pay sick pay if someone self isolates?
Unless you are my wife's employers and they are just forcing people into work who potentially are at risk to give it to everyone. Great, right? lol
Advice from the FSB:

“Employees who develop symptoms will of course be unfit for work.

They will be entitled to SSP subject to meeting the qualifying criteria. Additionally, an employee is deemed to be incapable of work for SSP purposes if they:

• are a carrier of, or

• have been in contact with an infectious or contagious disease of a kind specified in Regulation 2(3) of the Statutory Sick Pay (General) Regulations 1982 and has been issued with a statement from a registered medical practitioner advising them not to go to work due to it being known or reasonably suspected that they have been in contact with or infected by one.”

Advice from ACAS:

“The ACAS guidance on coronavirus states, in brief, that there’s no statutory right to pay if someone is not sick but cannot work because they:

  • have been told by a medical expert to self-isolate
  • have had to go into quarantine
  • are abroad in an affected area and are not allowed to travel back to the UK
But it’s good practice for their employer to treat it as sick leave and follow their usual sick pay policy or agree for the time to be taken as holiday.

The guidance can be found here:

Clearly if employees have been told to self-isolate on medical advice because it is known or reasonably suspected they have been exposed to the virus, rather than just as a precautionary measure, they would be entitled to SSP (subject to meeting eligibility criteria).”
Great thread, my real concern with what I have read up on the virus- frankly i thought was mass hysteria to begin with now looks very alarming. My concern is obviously employees and clients but wouldn't it just be easier to close in the supposed self isolate period- this added on knock on effect. To pre-existing appointments etc. We all know there will be that one client that'll be off because their whoever is ill and they fancied treating themselves not knowing they have potentially spread it- but to contradict it apparently its most contagious like chicken pox before the outbreak. Which in turn either way as a salon owner you have to have a contingency plan. The masks are apparently only suitable for the person that has it but once its damp it is ineffective. It's pretty importantly obvious to all that sanitation is still high on the hygiene front. So regardless of precautions this epidemic is is supposed to have 80% off the work force off at one given time if there is a widespread outbreak. Does anyone have a contingency plan for this modern day plague?
You should have a Business Continuity Plan and a Critical Interruption Plan in place and all staff should know both. For salons and spas, these tend to be one and the same document.

Business Continuity Plan

Your plan of how you will continue to run your salon if one or more of your staff phone in sick.

Critical Interruption Plan

Your plan of what to do if you need to close the salon for one or more days.

What to include in each

  • Ability to access an up to date list of contact numbers for all your staff from outside the salon or spa
  • Ability to access your appointments and related Client contact details from outside the salon or spa
  • Remembering GDPR for these first 2 points
  • How to contact Clients who have an appointment
    • Who will contact them
    • How they will get contact details
  • How to contact staff to let them know the latest
    • and in what order to contact them
  • Who can open up if you can't!
  • Which staff could you get in
The list goes on but in other words: plan now because it can get chaotic very quickly when things are hitting the fan.

And make sure all your staff know what to do.

The NHBF have produced a really good guide which also looks at what to do if you need to close and what rights you have as an owner here:

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