To ask the Secretary of State for Work and Pensions, with reference to the Chancellor of the Exchequer's oral contribution, Official Report, 11 March 2020 col 280, what the evidential basis was for the Government's commitment to reimburse businesses with fewer than 250 employees for statutory sick pay costs in relation to employees being off work for covid-19-related reasons for up to a fortnight as potentially providing over £2 billion for up to two million businesses; and if she will place the modelling used to underpin that estimate in the Library.
The government recognises that small and medium enterprises (SMEs) may need financial support where they incur additional costs of paying Statutory Sick Pay (SSP) due to increased absences relating to Covid-19. Under the Statutory Sick Pay Rebate Scheme, SMEs can reclaim up to two weeks of SSP per employee paid for sickness absences relating to Covid-19.
A range of costings were carried out in March 2020 based on the situation at the time. This was prior to the Coronavirus Job Retention Scheme being developed.
We will continue to revise costings based on outturn data from initial claims and the latest information about the Covid-19 outbreak.