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Cardiff Council

www.cardiff.gov.uk

Statutory Sick Pay Enhancement Scheme

​​​​​The Statutory Sick Pay Enhancement Scheme​​​​​​​​​​​Link opens in a new window will run from 1 November 2020 until 31 March 2021.

The scheme will support care workers who only get Statutory Sick Pay (SSP)​​​​​​​​​​​Link opens in a new window when absent and those who are not eligible for SSP. Funding will be available to allow employers to pay eligible workers at full pay if they can’t work due to COVID-19.


You may also be eligible for the Self-isolation support scheme​. You can apply for this scheme if you are eligible. However, you must not try to claim from both schemes for the same absence. 

Useful documents 

Information on the Statutory Sick Pay Enhancement Scheme and how to make a claim for people who receive care through the Direct Payment Scheme.

Information on the Statutory Sick Pay Enhancement Scheme and how to make a claim for employers who provide a care service.

Declaration to be completed by the employee as required by the Welsh Government to allow your employer to make a claim.

Form to be completed and signed by the employer so that a claim can be processed. Note this is not required for those receiving care through the Direct Payment Scheme and are using Dewis CIL payroll services.

When Form 2 has been checked, employers (Care Providers) will be asked to sign and return the Terms and Conditions document before payment is made.


Is there a limit on the number times you can use the scheme?

There is no limit on the number of times eligible employees can benefit from this scheme. The scheme will support employees for the length of the eligible COVID-19 absence (10 or 14 days, or less where a negative test is obtained, and as per current health advice).

Can employees who are not eligible for SSP use the scheme?

Yes, employees are eligible even if they are not normally eligible for SSP.

How do employers calculate payments for staff who work irregular hours?

Where hours are irregular, pay will be the average of the last 8 weeks. 

An example of using the SSP Enhancement scheme

When the Personal Assistant (PA) is required to self-isolate, the payment is for the period specified only.

For example, a PA is off for 4 days with symptoms and awaiting test results:
  • ​on receipt of a negative test, the PA feels well and returns to work. The claim is for 4 days
  • on receipt of a negative test, the PA continues to feel unwell and stays off work. The claim is for 4 days. There is no claim with regard to further absence, since the absence is not COVID-19 related
  • on receipt of a positive test result, the PA stays off for a further 10 days or the length of time consistent with current health advice. The claim is for 14 days. Claims can be sequential in this instance i.e. claim for suspected COVID-19, then for self-isolation as a result of actual COVID-19
  • on receipt of a positive test result, the PA stays off for a further 30 days due to the impact of the virus. The claim is for 14 days. This is the claim for suspected COVID-19 followed by 10 days for self-isolation as a result of actual COVID-19, or a period consistent with current health advice
  • on receipt of a positive test result, the PA decides to apply the Self-isolation Support scheme (see below). The PA informs the employer who ensures SSP enhancement payment stops from the day of the positive test result

The employee is not eligible for this scheme if:

  • ​the absence relates to childcare or carer responsibilities, even if schools or day services have closed due to COVID-19
  • they need to quarantine following foreign travel
  • they cannot work due to being assessed as high risk using the All Wales COVID -19 workforce risk assessment tool
  • they have been advised by a GP or hospital doctor to self-isolate as a precaution before or after a medical procedure

Employees who are also eligible for the Self-isolation Support scheme

If a PA is eligible for the SSP Enhancement scheme, they may also be eligible for the Self-isolation Support scheme. They could also apply for this. However, they have to decide which scheme they wish to apply for. They cannot claim for both schemes for the same absence. This may be regarded as fraud.

PAs must tell their employer if they apply for the Self-isolation Support scheme.
If the PA applies for the Self-isolation Support scheme, they will still get SSP (if eligible) but they cannot also get full pay via the SSP Enhancement scheme.

It is the PAs responsibility to only apply and claim for either the Self-isolation Support scheme or the SSP Enhancement scheme for each relevant absence and to notify employers of any changes from one scheme to the other.

Tax, National Insurance and benefits

PAs​ will get taxed on payments from both schemes.


The schemes have different rules with regards to:
  • ​National Insurance contributions
  • how they affect any benefits received


If a PA is eligible for both schemes, they need to decide which scheme is better for them.

Arrangements if employees inform you that they are applying for the Self-isolation Support scheme

Once a PA has selected a scheme to claim against they will remain on this scheme for that absence or until their circumstances change. 

For example, if a PA experiences COVID-19 symptoms they should stay away from work until they have received their test result. They will receive full pay and the employer will be reimbursed from the SSP Enhancement scheme. 

If they subsequently test positive for COVID-19, this is regarded as a separate absence as circumstances have changed. If the PA is in receipt of welfare benefits, they may choose to make a separate claim to the Self-isolation Support scheme. 

PAs must immediately inform their employer and the SSP enhanced payment will be stopped. The PA will then only receive SSP from their employer (if they are eligible for SSP).

Why do we need declaration forms and what will happen to them?

Declaration forms are primarily needed to document the employee’s choice of scheme (if they are eligible for both the self-isolation £500 scheme and the SSP top up scheme) and to confirm the employee is content for personal information to be shared for the purpose of the administration of this scheme.  

The form will also provide evidence of who was paid and to confirm that both the employee and employer confirmed that the employee was eligible for the scheme.

To speed up the process and to avoid printing and postage costs claim forms can be sent to employees and returned electronically. Electronic forms will be valid providing they are submitted via an email account held in the name of the employee.  

Declaration forms can be sent to employees in advance, before any absence form work has occurred, to allow employees time to consider their options should they have to stay home from work, but forms should only be submitted once an absence from work has begun.

Declaration forms must be retained by the direct employer for a minimum of 24 months after date of the payment. These forms can be retained electronically or in hard copy. Employers may be asked to produce the forms if asked to by local authorities or auditors. Failure to produce claim forms to substantiate claims may result in the recovery of funding.

What checks are local authorities expected to do to validate claims?

Local authorities will be expected to check employer claims to establish whether the claim is proportionate and in line with SSP rates. 

Any anomalies should investigated by local authorities who have discretion to proceed with the claims or refer to the Welsh Government.

What should the payment arrangements be between local authorities and care providers or agencies?

This is for local authorities to determine. They should seek to use existing payment mechanisms, if appropriate. In the absence of an appropriate existing payment mechanism local authorities should create a basic grant arrangement using standard clauses and terms and conditions.  

How do employers prove the payments have been made?

Employers are asked to submit a completed form 2 to the local authority. The local authority may request a financial report or supporting financial information from the employer showing that the payments have been made to the staff listed on the form. 

How does an employer classify the income to fund these payments in their accounts?

The SSP enhancement payments received from Welsh Government via local authorities should be recognised in employer’s accounts as a taxable income. 

Employers will be able to claim a matching deduction in their accounts for employee costs, so there is no net effect on the employers overall taxable profit.  

What happens if an employer has multiple care settings in different LA areas?

Where an employer provides services across more than one local authority geographic area, the relevant local authorities and the employer can, by mutual consent, agree for one local authority to lead on the payments for all settings for that care provider to reduce complexity and the administrative burden on both care providers and local authorities.

Care staff who are also eligible for the self-isolation payment scheme

If an employee is eligible for the SSP enhancement scheme, they may also be eligible for the self-isolation payment scheme.​​​​​​​​​​​Link opens in a new window

To be eligible for the Self isolation £500 payment scheme they must be in receipt of benefits and be required to:
  • ​self-isolate due to a positive test for COVID-19
  • self-isolate as you are identified as a contact by the NHS Wales Test Trace Protect service

Employees could also apply for this. However, they have to decide to which scheme they wish to apply. They cannot claim for both schemes for the same absence. This may be regarded as fraud.

You must tell your employer if you apply for the self-isolation payment scheme.

If the employee applies for the self-isolation payment scheme, they will still get SSP (if eligible) but they cannot also get full pay via the SSP enhancement scheme.

It is the employee’s responsibility to only apply and claim for either the self-isolation payment or the SSP enhancement scheme for each relevant absence and to notify employers of any changes from one scheme to the other.

Tax, National Insurance and benefits

Employees will get taxed on payments from both schemes.

The schemes have different rules with regards to:
  • ​National Insurance contributions
  • how they affect any benefits received


If an employee is eligible for both schemes, they need to decide which scheme is better for them.

Arrangements if employees inform you that they are applying for the Self-isolation payment scheme

Once an employee has selected a scheme to claim against they will remain on this scheme for that absence or until their circumstances change.
For example, if an employee experiences COVID-19 symptoms they should stay away from work until they have received their test result. They will receive full pay and the employer will be reimbursed from the SSP enhancement scheme.

If they subsequently test positive for COVID-19, this is regarded as a separate absence as circumstances have changed. If the employee is in receipt of welfare benefits, they may choose to make a separate claim to the Self-isolation payment.

Employees must immediately inform their employer and the enhanced payment will be stopped. The employee will then only receive SSP from their employer (if they are eligible for SSP).