Coronavirus: Sick Pay Entitlement for Part-Time Workers

By Carol Smith
17 Apr 2020

If you have employees off work sick with COVID-19, you may be able to claim back SSP via the Government’s scheme.

In this article, we’ll take a look at how the Coronavirus Statutory Sick Pay Rebate Scheme works, and how you can reclaim SSP.

What is the scheme?

It’s a system set up by the Government which will repay employers the current rate of SSP that they pay. It will do this for any current or former employees who take periods of sickness beginning on 13th March or starting after this.

If you pay more than the current rate of SSP you’ll only be able to claim the current rate amount. The repayment covers up to two weeks from the first day of sickness. The scheme only covers those who have coronavirus or are self-isolating.

You don’t need a doctor’s fit note for you to get a repayment.

But who does the scheme apply to? Can anyone make a claim?

Coronavirus part-time sick pay

As an employer, you can use the scheme if you’re claiming for any employee eligible for sick pay as a result of coronavirus. You must have a PAYE payroll scheme created on or before 28th February 2020, and you must have fewer than 250 employees on or before that date too.

When it comes to employment type, the scheme should cover all forms of contract. That includes coronavirus SSP for part-time workers.


To understand this we need to cast our mind back to the days before the coronavirus outbreak.

Employment law in the UK states that part-time workers must receive the same rights as full-time ones. That means the same pay and benefits packages and statutory rights, including sickness-based absences.

Although the current situation is unprecedented, the same rules regarding pay apply. Full-time employees can utilise the scheme. So COVID-19 sick pay for part-time workers is a legal requirement provided they meet the qualifying criteria.

What is this criteria? For employees to receive coronavirus SSP on part-time, they must earn more than £120 a week.

Usually, they would need to have been off work with illness for four consecutive days or more.

However, this has been changed in the current crisis, so now sick pay is payable from day one of absence.

How much do I have to pay?

Currently, coronavirus statutory sick pay for part-time workers (and everyone else) is £95.85 per week, for up to 28 weeks.

Again, if you usually pay more than the statutory amount, the government scheme only pays the current rate amount.

Sick pay for casual workers with coronavirus

As previously stated, those on all times of contract should be able to reclaim sick pay via the government scheme.

That includes those on flexible or casual contracts, so long as they meet the qualifying criteria.

How do I access the scheme?

If you want COVID-19 sick pay for part-time workers to be reclaimed, you need to do a few things.

The first and most important is maintaining records. This includes:

  • The reason the employee(s) couldn’t work.
  • Details of each period of sickness/isolation, including start and end dates.
  • Details of the SSP qualifying days when the employee(s) couldn’t work.
  • The National Insurance number of all employees you’ve paid SSP to.

It’s also important to keep these records for a minimum of three years following your claim.

Once you’ve outlined these details and submitted them to HMRC you should be entitled to reclaim SSP for employees sick or self-isolating.

Expert support

Still have questions about the scheme? Get expert HR advice on 01455 858 132 or arrange a callback today.

About the Author

Carol Smith

Carol joined Croner in 2001 as an Employment Consultant advising a wide range of clients on all aspects of Employment Law and HR practice. She demonstrates particular expertise in complex disciplinary, grievance matters and reorganisation / redundancy.


Carol Smith

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