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How to reclaim Statutory Sick Pay (SSP) paid to employees as a result of coronavirus, when the scheme opens, and what you need to do.

As part of their promise to support businesses affected by the COVID-19 pandemic, the government announced that employers can reclaim up to two weeks’ worth of coronavirus-related Statutory Sick Pay (SSP).

How much SSP can I reclaim through the Coronavirus Statutory Sick Pay Rebate Scheme?

The Coronavirus Statutory Sick Pay Rebate Scheme allows employers to reclaim coronavirus-related SSP paid to employees (and former employees), up to a maximum of two weeks.

It’s worth remembering that the rate of SSP changed at the start of the new tax year. So, any SSP paid before 6th April 2020 was payable at £94.25 per week; on or after that date SSP increased to £95.85.

You can only reclaim the statutory rate of sick pay, even if you pay more sick pay to your staff.

What SSP can I reclaim using the Coronavirus Statutory Sick Pay Rebate Scheme?

Like the name suggests, employers can only reclaim SSP through the Rebate Scheme for employees unable to work as a result of coronavirus. This includes:

  • employees unable to work because they, or someone they live with, has COVID-19 or has symptoms.
  • employees who received a shielding letter from the NHS or their GP instructing them to remain home for at least 12 weeks.

What time period does the Coronavirus Statutory Sick Pay Rebate Scheme cover?

You can use the scheme to reclaim SSP for relevant sickness periods which started:

  • on or after the 13 March 2020 if you’re reclaiming SSP for employees unable to work because they, or someone they live with, has COVID-19 or has symptoms.
  • on or after 16 April 2020 if you’re reclaiming SSP for employees shielding because of coronavirus.

Can any employer use the Coronavirus Statutory Sick Pay Rebate Scheme?

Only small- and medium-sized employers can apply to reclaim SSP through the Coronavirus Statutory Sick Pay Rebate Scheme. This means employers who, on 28 February 2020, had fewer than 250 employees, are eligible. You must also have created and started a PAYE payroll scheme on or before 28 February 2020, to be eligible to apply.

Can I use the Coronavirus SSP Rebate Scheme alongside the Coronavirus Job Retention Scheme?

The good news is that yes, employers can claim for the same employee through both the Coronavirus Statutory Sick Pay Rebate Scheme and the Coronavirus Job Retention Scheme. Just not for the same time period!

 

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When can I apply to the Coronavirus Statutory Sick Pay Rebate Scheme?

You can apply to reclaim SSP through HMRC’s online service, which will be available from 26th May 2020.

How do I reclaim SSP through the Coronavirus Statutory Sick Pay Rebate Scheme?

If you plan to make the claim yourself, you’ll need to make sure that you’re enrolled for the PAYE Online service. Once the online service is available, you’ll need to sign in using your Government Gateway user ID.

Can my accountant submit a claim for the Coronavirus Statutory Sick Pay Rebate Scheme on my behalf?

If you have authorised an agent, such as your accountant, to do PAYE online, then they will be able to apply for the claim on your behalf.

When you make your claim through the Coronavirus Statutory Sick Pay Rebate Scheme you will need to know/provide:

  • your employer PAYE scheme reference number.
  • contact details in case of queries.
  • bank details of where you would like the claim to be paid to.
  • the total amount of coronavirus-related SSP for the claim period – (based on the statutory weekly rate, and not any additional occupational sick pay that you have paid).
  • the number of employees in your claim.
  • the start and end dates of the claim period. The start date of your claim will be the start of the earliest pay period. The end date of your claim is the end of the most recent pay period you’re claiming for.

Can I claim for multiple employees at the same time?

Yes, the online service allows you to claim for multiple pay periods and employees at the same time.

What records will I need to keep about my claim?

You’re required to keep records about the SSP that you have paid to employees, and want to reclaim, for three years from the date you receive repayment under the scheme.

The records you keep must include details about:

  • employees’ sickness absence dates, and which of those were qualifying days.
  • the reason for the absence.
  • employee’s NI number

Learn more about COVID-19 help and support available for businesses in our COVID-19 business support hub, or call us on 020 3355 4047 to find out how our online accountancy services can help you.

About The Author

Elizabeth Hughes

A content writer specialising in business, finance, software, and beyond. I'm a wordsmith with a penchant for puns and making complex subjects accessible. Learn more about Elizabeth.

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