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Immediate support for SMEs

Measures to support businesses experiencing increases in costs or financial disruptions

Employment costs

Legislation will be enacted to allow small-and medium-sized businesses and employers to reclaim Statutory Sick Pay (SSP) paid for sickness absence due to COVID-19. The eligibility criteria for the scheme will be as follows:

• The refund will cover up to 2 weeks’ SSP per eligible employee who has been off work because of COVID-19

• Employers with fewer than 250 employees (to be determined with reference to number employed as of 28 February 2020) will be eligible

Employers will be able to reclaim expenditure for any employee who has claimed SSP (according to the new eligibility criteria) as a result of COVID-19

• Employers should maintain records of staff absences, but employees will not need to provide a GP fit note

• Eligible period for the scheme will commence the day after the regulations on the extension of Statutory Sick Pay to self-isolators comes into force

• The government will work with employers over the coming months to set up the repayment mechanism for employers as soon as possible (possibly via the RTI system). Existing systems are not designed to facilitate employer refunds for SSP

Employment allowance to increase by £1000

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