The Statutory Sick Pay Rebate Scheme (SSPRS) launches on 26 May 2020, from which date claims for refunds can be made via an online portal similar to that currently available for the Coronavirus Job Retention Scheme (CJRS).
The scheme will repay employers for up to 14 days of SSP costs per employee (current or former) if the employee is unable to work because they either:
• Have COVID-19 symptoms
• Are self-isolating because they are living with someone who has COVID-19 symptoms
• Are shielding in line with NHS advice
Employers will be eligible to use the scheme if all of the following apply:
• They’re claiming for an employee who is eligible for SSP due to COVID-19
• They had a payroll scheme in operation before 28 February 2020
• They had fewer than 250 employees across all PAYE schemes on 28 February 2020
• They are eligible to receive State Aid under the EU Commission Temporary Framework
You can claim for periods of sickness starting on or after:
• 13 March 2020 – if your employee had COVID-19 symptoms or were self-isolating with someone with COVID-19 symptoms
• 16 April 2020 – if your employee was shielding because of COVID-19
Keep in mind that unlike normal SSP rules, from 13 March 2020 SSP is payable from the first day of illness where COVID is the cause of the absence.
Employees do not need 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 NHS111 or a NHS/GP letter advising them to shield.
The weekly rate for SSP is £94.25 for periods before 6 April 2020 and £95.85 for periods on or after 6 April 2020. If you, as an employer, pay more than the basic weekly rate of SSP the refund will not cover this additional amount.
Employee’s eligibility criteria for SSP:
• The employee must have an employment contract
• They must have done some work under their contract
• They must have been sick for 4 or more days in a row (including non-working days)
• They must earn an average of at least £120 per week
• They must give you the correct notice
• They must not be on statutory maternity pay or maternity allowance
HMRC have not yet put an end date on this scheme – this is to be decided.
Preparing to claim
If you intend to make the claim yourself you will need to use your Government Gateway User ID for PAYE Online. If you did not yet register online you will need to do so now at www.gov.uk/paye-online/enrol
If you have lost your government gateway ID you may be able to find it by using the following link www.tax.service.gov.uk/account-recovery/lost-user-id-password/check-email?
If you have an agent who is authorised to do PAYE online for you, they will be able to make the claim on your behalf.
If you are unable to make a claim online an alternative way to claim will be made available shortly.
What you will need to make the claim
• Employer PAYE scheme reference number
• Contact name and phone number of someone HMRC can contact
• UK bank/ building society details
• The total amount of COVID-19 SSP you have paid to your employees for the claim period (this should not exceed the weekly rate as quoted above)
• The number of employees for which you are claiming
• 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 are claiming for. The end date of your claim is the end date of the most recent pay period you’re claiming for.
Records you must keep
You must keep records of the SSP that you have paid, specifically the following details need to be kept for 3 years from the date of scheme payment:
• The dates the employee was off sick
• Which of those dates were qualifying days
• The reason they said they were off work
• The employee’s national insurance number
If any assistance is required please get in touch, call 01450 372267 and your call will be managed accordingly.