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Covid 19 – Coronavirus Statutory Sick Pay Rebate Scheme Opens

Coronavirus SSP scheme open for claims

Statutory Sick Pay Rebate Scheme launches 26 May 2020

Small and medium-sized employers, with less than 250 employees, will be now be able to recover up to 2 weeks’ Statutory Sick Pay, per eligible employee, for sickness absence paid due to coronavirus.

The key points are;

  • As expected employers will be able to make their claims through a new HMRC online service from 26 May.
  • Employers will receive repayments at the relevant rate of SSP that they have paid to current or former employees for eligible periods of sickness starting on or after 13 March 2020.
  • Your accountants / tax agent can also be able to make claims on behalf of employers.
  • To prepare to make their claim, employers should keep records of all the SSP payments that they wish to claim from HMRC.
  • Employers are eligible if they have a PAYE payroll scheme that was created and started before 28 February 2020 and they had fewer than 250 employees before the same date.

The repayment will cover up to 2 weeks of SSP and is payable if an employee is unable to work in the following circumstances;

  • Employees have coronavirus; or
  • are self-isolating and unable to work from home; or
  • are shielding because they’ve been advised that they’re at high risk of severe illness from coronavirus.

Working From Home during coronavirus

SSP Rebate Scheme Other Useful Info

The current rate of SSP is £95.85 per week. For the period 13 March 2020 to 5 April 2020 the SSP rate was £94.25 per week, so pay attention to the dates you are claiming for.

Employers can choose to go further and pay more than the statutory minimum, this is known as contractual sick pay.

Where an employer pays more than the current rate of SSP in sick pay, they will only be able to reclaim the SSP rate.

The scheme covers all types of employment contracts, including:

  • full-time employees
  • part-time employees
  • employees on agency contracts
  • employees on flexible or zero-hour contracts

All other SSP eligibility criteria apply, check out the link to HMRC to check eligibility.

Connected companies and charities can also use the scheme if their total combined number of PAYE employees is fewer than 250 on or before 28 February 2020.

Employees do not have to provide a doctor’s fit note for their employer to make a claim under the scheme.

But you can ask them to give you either an isolation note from NHS 111 and if they are self-isolating and cannot work because of coronavirus you can ask for the letter from the GP.

Employers can furlough their employees who have been advised to shield in line with public health guidance and are unable to work from home, under the Coronavirus Job Retention Scheme. Once furloughed, the employee should no longer receive SSP and would be classified as a furloughed employee.

You can claim back from both the Coronavirus Job Retention Scheme and the Coronavirus Statutory Sick Pay Rebate Scheme for the same employee but not for the same period of time for that employee.

SSP Claims and State Aid Rules 

Your claim amount should not take you above the state aid limits under the EU Commission temporary framework. This is when combined with other aid received under the framework. The maximum level of state aid that a business may receive is €800,000. There is a lower maximum for agriculture at €100,000 and aquaculture and fisheries at €120,000.

Small Business help during Coronavirus

What you’ll need to make your Coronavirus SSP claim

You’ll need:

  • your employer PAYE scheme reference number.
  • contact name and phone number of someone we can contact if we have queries.
  • UK bank or building society details.
  • the total amount of coronavirus SSP you have paid to your employees for the claim period – this should not exceed the weekly rate that is set.
  • the number of employees you are claiming for.
  • the start date and end date of the claim period.

You can claim for multiple pay periods and employees at the same time. The start date of your claim is the start date of the earliest pay period you’re claiming for. The end date of your claim is the end date of the most recent pay period you’re claiming.

SSP Records you must keep

You must keep records of SSP that you’ve paid and want to claim back from HMRC under the new scheme.

You must keep the following records for 3 years after the date you receive the payment for your claim:

  • the dates the employee was off sick.
  • which of those dates were qualifying days
  • the reason they said they were off work – if they had symptoms, someone they lived with had symptoms or they were shielding.
  • the employee’s National Insurance number.

You can choose how you keep records of your employees’ sickness absence. HMRC may ask to see the records. Consider scanning any sick notes your are given and keep any e-mails where staff tell you they are sick or shielding.

HMRC will close this service when they choose.

For any help with payroll or Statutory Sick Pay please call us on 01603 516304 🙂

Coronavirus Hope