The Coronavirus Statutory Sick Pay Rebate Scheme launches online on 26 May 2020.
The scheme enables employers to claim the applicable rate of Statutory Sick Pay (SSP) for periods of sickness starting on or after 13 March 2020.
How it works
The repayment will cover up to two weeks of SSP, starting from the first qualifying day of sickness and is payable if a current or former employee is unable to work because they:
- Have coronavirus;
- Are self-isolating and unable to work from home; or
- Are shielding and have a letter from the NHS or a GP telling them to stay at home for at least 12 weeks.
Employers can claim for periods of sickness starting on or after:
- 13 March 2020 – if your employee had coronavirus or the symptoms or is self-isolating because someone they live with has symptoms; or
- 16 April 2020 – if your employee was shielding because of coronavirus.
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.
Your claim amount should not take you above the state aid limits under the EU Commission temporary framework.
Statutory Sick Pay rate
The weekly rate was £94.25 before 6 April 2020 and is now £95.85. If you’re an employer who pays more than the weekly rate of SSP you can only claim up to the weekly rate paid.
You are eligible to use the scheme if:
- You are claiming for an employee who’s eligible for sick pay due to coronavirus;
- You had a PAYE payroll scheme in operation before 28 February 2020;
- You had fewer than 250 employees across all PAYE schemes on 28 February 2020; and
- You are eligible to receive State Aid under the EU Commission Temporary Framework.
Employees do not have to give you a doctor’s fit note for you to make a claim. But you can ask them to give you either:
- An isolation note from NHS 111– if they are self-isolating and cannot work because of coronavirus; or
- The NHS or GP letter telling them to stay at home for at least 12 weeks because they’re at high risk of severe illness from coronavirus.
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; and
- Fixed term contracts (until the date their contract ends).
Connected companies and charities can also use the scheme if their total combined number of PAYE employees was fewer than 250 on the 28 February 2020.
How to make a claim
- The online service you will use to reclaim Statutory Sick Pay (SSP) will be available from 26 May 2020;
- To use the online service you will need your Government Gateway ID.
Once you have clicked on the link you will then need to:
- Select “Create an account” at the bottom of the page; and
- Then select the “Create a Government Gateway account” option.
You will need the following to hand in order to make your claim:
- Your employer PAYE scheme reference number;
- Contact name and phone number for queries;
- UK bank or building society details (only provide bank account details where a Bacs payment can be accepted);
- 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.
Records you must keep
You must keep records of SSP that you’ve paid and want to claim back from HMRC.
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; and
- The employee’s National Insurance number.
You can choose how you keep records of your employees’ sickness absence. HMRC may need to see these records if there is a dispute over payment of SSP.
How M+A Partners can help you
M+A Partners can help you work out what you can claim and when, leaving you to focus on your business at this most challenging time. For all of our payroll clients we are authorised to register your SSP claim on the new online portal.
Our fees for assisting you can be tailored to the level of help you need, whether you need us to help you quantify your claim, create your SSP claim on the new online portal, or provide a full support service for you to help you manage your payroll costs during this time.
If you need assistance with operating your payroll and calculating your claim, then please contact your usual M+A Partners contact or firstname.lastname@example.org.