An employers’ guide to reclaiming COVID-related SSP using the Coronavirus Statutory Sick Pay Rebate Scheme (SSPRS)
The government are helping smaller employers by changing the way Statutory Sick Pay (SSP) deals with absences due to coronavirus. We explain how the SSP relief package works and who can use it.
The scheme has temporarily re-opened to claims for COVID-related sickness absences occurring from 21 December 2021 onwards.
What is the Statutory Sick Pay Rebate Scheme (SSPRS)?
The scheme sets out to help employers facing higher-than-usual sickness absences. Employers can use SSPRS relief to reclaim up to two weeks’ worth of Statutory Sick Pay (SSP) per employee for COVID-related 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 for the COVID sick pay rebate, SSPRS?
The SSP rebate scheme is available to smaller employers who are reclaiming sick pay which they paid to employees whose absence was as a result of coronavirus.
Only employers with fewer than 250 employees as of 30th November 2021 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.
Your PAYE payroll scheme was created and started on, or before, 30th November 2021.
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.
Can I make multiple claims for the SSP rebate?
Yes, you can claim SSPRS 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.
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.