SSP & Furlough FAQs
(Frequently Asked Questions)
With the coronavirus pandemic, we have put together information based on frequently asked questions relating to Statutory Sick Pay (SSP) and the Coronavirus Job Retention Scheme (CJRS). The information below will help you to understand the guidelines published by HMRC. Alternatively, if you have more questions, you can contact our expert team using the link below.
You will be entitled to statutory sick pay if:
- You started work with Unified Payroll and have been paid, i.e. done some work under your contract,
- Earn an average of at least £120 per week,
- You have been advised by NHS 111 or a doctor to self-isolate (you will need to provide an isolation note),
- You have been ill for at least four days in a row (including non-working days),
- Informed us within seven days of your illness (you will need to provide us with a sick-note or isolation note from NHS 111).
You are entitled to SSP if you have been asked to self-isolate and cannot work because you:
- Have coronavirus,
- Have symptoms of coronavirus, and been advised to self-isolate (you must provide us with a sick note or isolation from NHS 111),
- Live with someone who has symptoms of coronavirus, (you must provide a sick note of the person you live with and they should reside in the same address as yourself), or
- You have been advised to self-isolate by a medical practitioner because of underlying conditions that put you at risk of contracting coronavirus (you must provide a sick note).
Weekly rate of SSP applies regardless of the number of days you work.
The SSP rates are as follows:
- £94.25 per week for 19/20 tax year
- £95.85 per week for 20/21 tax year.
You will not be entitled to SSP if any of the following apply:
- You have already had SSP for 28 weeks, and the 28 weeks ended within the last eight weeks,
- You received employment and support allowance (ESA) in the last 12 weeks,
- You are already receiving statutory maternity pay or maternity allowance,
- You are pregnant, and your baby is due in 4 weeks or less, and your illness is pregnancy-related,
- Had a baby in the last 14 weeks (or the last 18 weeks if your baby was born over four weeks early) or
- You are self-employed or earning below the lower earnings limit of £120 per week. (In this situation you can claim Universal Credit or Employment and Support Allowance).
The Coronavirus Job Retention Scheme (CJRS) was put in place by HM Treasury to assist businesses to pay wages where it would have been ideal to make workers redundant. The scheme is intended to help companies continue to pay employees, who have been told to stop working by the end-client/agency (i.e. where the assignments have been terminated before the contract end date) due to the coronavirus situation.
To qualify for this CJRS, you must have:
- Enrolled and been paid, as an employee via our PAYE Umbrella Scheme on or before 19 March 2020,
- Enrolled with us as of 28 February 2020, and on payroll (RTI submitted) at this date and stopped from working (due to COVID-19) prior to 19 March 2020,
- Instructed by the end client or agency not to work for 21 days (3 weeks) or more,
- Instructed by the agency/end-client to cease all work, in writing (email) and agreed to stop work, in writing (email). The email from the end-client must state the start and end date of the furlough period.
- Agree that you are a “furloughed worker”.
- Be in a position where you cannot provide services to the agency/end-client that furloughed you and Unified Payroll.
- Identified as one who is shielding due to being in a “high risk” group as set out in the Government guidance.
We will need to have the following evidence to furlough an employee:
- Written communication and agreement from the agency/end client to the contractor, stating the reasons for terminating the assignment,
- The written communication should say that termination relates to COVID-19 and that it is for a period longer than 21 days. (We will also write to your agency or the end client to understand the circumstances for being asked to stop working).
You will not be eligible for CJRS if any of the following apply:
- You enrolled with Unified Payroll after 28 February 2020,
- You are absent from work due to sickness or self-isolation, as you should claim SSP,
- You are on long-term sick leave unless you become well enough to get back to work,
- You are on family-related leave like MSP/Paternity Pay,
- You are on unpaid leave or sabbatical on 28 February 2020,
- You received your P45 from us, as you are no longer enrolled with us and no longer our employee,
- You are on reduced pay or reduced hours, even if the reduction is due to the impact of coronavirus,
- Already enrolled and employed by PNG Professionals Ltd, Unified Payroll (Healthcare) Ltd and other related group companies.
If you qualify for CJRS, your payment is calculated based on historical average pay with a maximum limit of £2,500 per month.
Your pay is calculated using:
- The average number of hours worked over the past tax year x minimum wage (£8.72), or
- The actual number of hours worked in the corresponding calendar month of the previous year x minimum wage (£8.72),
- Plus, holiday pay due, based on the amount determined above (@ 12.07%).
Please note - This calculation starts from the day you were furloughed to the time it ends. Your pay is still subject to normal employee taxes and NI contributions. We will still send you a payslip when we pay you in the usual way.
If you have any more questions about SSP, the furlough scheme, our PAYE umbrella scheme, HMRC guidelines or IR35, you can contact our expert team.
Our various teams are available Monday to Friday from 9 am to 5 pm.