Right to Work Checks & SSP Recovery Scheme
 
Sentient Group Ltd
 
Info Update 2020/28                                                         Issue Date: 20/05/2020
 
Right to Work Checks
 
You will be aware that the government has been on overdrive in producing guidance and help for businesses during the current Covid emergency. We too have been at full throttle seeking to make sure we cover the key points for you, so here goes with the latest…..

The Home Office has provided guidance with respect to temporary provisions that have been put in place and one of these relates to Right to Work in the UK Checks.

Checking that all staff working for you have the right to work in the UK is one of the key duties of an employer. Failure to undertake such checks could result in you employing illegal workers and facing a fine of up to £20,000.00 per illegal worker. If an employer knowingly hires someone who does not have the right to work in the UK, that employer could also face a possible lengthy prison sentence.

The Home Office have made it clear that employers must still ensure that they carry out Right to Work Checks to determine if that person has the right to work in the UK. However, they have recognised that the current climate makes it difficult to ensure employers see original documents and authenticate them. They have therefore provided a temporary solution to enable checks to be done remotely.

A temporary process has been introduced whereby employers do not need to see original documents. Instead employees can send clear, legible scanned / photographed documents to their employers. This can be done either via email or through their mobile phone. The Guidance also goes further to say that the document can then be verified by the employer on a video call.

Alternatively, employers can still use the online Employer Checking Service which can be used if the employee has a current Biometric Residence Permit or Biometric Residence Card, or status under the EU Settlement Scheme and the employee has given permission to view their details to utilise this service.

As stated this is a temporary solution and will end when the Home office gives a date for the original procedure to resume after which employers will have 8 weeks to undertake retrospective checks on employees hired using the temporary process.

With the recent media publicity and government action seeking to mobilise a workforce to ensure our fruit and veg gets harvested nationally this may take on a more importance over coming weeks. Make sure you can provide the necessary evidence trail to keep you in the clear.
 
 
Reclaiming SSP Payments
 
 The Government have updated their guidance on the Coronavirus Statutory Sick Pay Rebate Scheme and some employers will be able to avail themselves of a new online service to make their claims with effect from next Tuesday, 26th May 2020.

You can use the scheme as an employer if:
  • you’re claiming for an employee who’s eligible for sick pay due to coronavirus
  • you have a PAYE payroll scheme that was created and started on or before 28th February 2020
  • you had fewer than 250 employees on 28th February 2020
 
The Rebate Scheme will repay employers the SSP paid to current or former employees and will cover up to 2 weeks starting from the first qualifying day of sickness, if an employee is unable to work because they either:
  • have coronavirus (COVID-19) symptoms
  • cannot work because they are self-isolating because someone they live with has symptoms
  • are shielding and have a letter from the NHS or a GP telling them to stay at home for at least 12 weeks
 
You can claim for periods of sickness starting on or after:
  • 13th March 2020 - if your employee had coronavirus or the symptoms or is self-isolating because someone they live with has symptoms
  • 16th April 2020 - if your employee was shielding because of coronavirus

NB The weekly rate was £94.25 before 6th April 2020 and is now £95.85 and if you’re an employer who pays more than the weekly rate of SSP you can only claim up to the weekly rate.

Details of how to make a claim and what information you will need can be found at:
https://www.gov.uk/guidance/claim-back-statutory-sick-pay-paid-to-employees-due-to-coronavirus-covid-19.
 
 
The advice and comment in this update is not meant to be an authoritative statement of the law. The articles and summaries should not be applied to any specific set of facts and circumstances without seeking further advice. Whilst every care is taken to ensure that the content is correct Sentient cannot accept responsibility for the accuracy of statements made nor the result of any actions taken by individuals after reading such.
 
 
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Wharfebank Mills
Ilkley Road
Otley
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