An employers’ guide to reclaiming COVID-related SSP using the Coronavirus Statutory Sick Pay Rebate Scheme
The government are helping smaller employers by changing the way Statutory Sick Pay (SSP) deals with absences due to coronavirus COVID-19. We explain how the SSP relief package works and who can use it.
What is the Coronavirus Statutory Sick Pay Rebate Scheme?
Employers can use the relief scheme to reclaim up to two weeks’ worth of Statutory Sick Pay (SSP), that they’ve paid out to employees for COVID-19 sickness absences. SSP for these absences will also be paid from the first day off, rather than day four as is standard.
Am I eligible to reclaim COVID-19 SSP?
The SSP rebate is available to smaller employers who need to reclaim sick pay for employees who have been off because of coronavirus.
Only employers with fewer than 250 employees as of 28th February 2020 qualify for the scheme.
They can only reclaim up to two weeks’ worth of SSP, even if the employee has been off for longer.
SSP is only reimbursed where the sickness absence is due to coronavirus COVID-19.
Your PAYE payroll scheme was created and started on, or before, 28 February 2020.
This doesn’t change that the fact that employees need to qualify for SSP under normal rules. The ‘day one’ rule also only applies if the employee is claiming SSP because of COVID-19.
Can I claim the SSP rebate and the Coronavirus Job Retention Scheme furlough grant?
Yes, you can make claims through either scheme, for the same employee, but not for the same time period.
Can I make multiple claims for the SSP rebate?
Yes, you can claim the rebate more than once, but your claims must not be worth more than 2 weeks of SSP per employee.
Do I need to ask my employee for a fit note?
While employers should be keeping records of staff absences and SSP payments, you don’t need to ask employees for a fit note (or ‘sick note’) which proves they were off with COVID-19.
You can ask employees to provide an isolation note if you need one for your own records.
What if my employee doesn’t qualify for SSP?
If an employee takes sick leave as a result of coronavirus but they don’t qualify for SSP, then you won’t be able (or need) to reclaim SSP for them.
You will still need to complete form SSP1 and send it to them, so that they can make a claim for Universal Credit or Employment & Support Allowance if they want to.