The latest scheme launched by the government
The Coronavirus Statutory Sick Pay Rebate Scheme online portal to claim back Statutory Sick Pay (“SSP”) paid to employees due to Coronavirus launched on 26 May.
Who can use the scheme
The Coronavirus Statutory Sick Pay Rebate Sceme (“the scheme”) is available to employers that:
- are claiming for an employee who is eligible for sick pay due to Coronavirus
- have a PAYE payroll scheme in place on or before 28 February 2020
- had less than 250 employees on 28 February 2020
Instead of a doctor’s fit note, employers can ask their employees to provide:
- an isolation note from NHS 111
- an NHS or GP letter telling them to stay at home for at least 12 weeks because they are at high risk of severe illness from Coronavirus
The scheme covers all types of employees, including full-time, part-time, employees on fixed term, flexible, zero-hour or agency contracts.
Employers can claim back from both the Coronavirus Job Retention Scheme (“CJRS”) and the scheme for the same employee but not for the same period of time.
What you can claim
The repayment will cover up to 2 weeks SSP if an employee is unable to work because they:
- have Coronavirus symptoms
- cannot work because they are self-isolating because someone they live with has symptoms
- 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 sickness starting on or after:
- 13 March 2020 – if an employee had Coronavirus or the symptoms or is self-isolating because someone they live with has symptoms
- 16 April 2020 – if an employee was shielding because of Coronavirus
The weekly rate was £94.25 before 6 April 2020 and is now £95.85.
Work out your claim period
Employers can only claim for SSP that has already been paid to employees. They can claim for multiple pay periods and employees at the same time. If they make multiple claims, the claim periods can overlap.
To complete a claim, employers will need the start and end dates of the claim period as follows:
- start date of the earliest pay period being claimed – if this is before 13 March, then 13 March is the start date
- end date of the most recent pay period being claimed – this must be on or before the date the claim is made
What you will need
- the number of employees being claiming for
- start and end dates of the claim period (see above)
- the total amount of Coronavirus-related SSP paid to employees for the claim period
- Government Gateway user ID and password
- employer PAYE reference number
- contact name and phone number
- UK bank or building society account details (only provide account details where a BACS payment can be accepted) including account number, sort code, name and address
Records you must keep
Employers must keep the following records for 3 years:
- the dates the employee was off sick
- which of those dates were qualifying days
- the reason(s) they said they were off work
- the employee’s National Insurance number
HMRC may need to see these records if there is a dispute over payment of SSP.
How to claim
You can access the online service here.
If you use an agent
Agents authorised to access PAYE Online for employers will be able to claim on their behalf.
If you cannot claim online
Employers who are unable to claim online should have received a letter from HMRC with an alternative way to claim. They should contact HMRC if they have not received a letter and are unable to make any eligible claims online.
After you have claimed
Claims will be checked and, if valid, paid into the nominated bank account within 6 working days.
HMRC may withhold or seek to recover inaccurate or dishonest claims and may apply penalties of up to £3,000.
HMRC will contact employers using the details provided if they have any queries about a claim.
Employers should not contact HMRC unless they have not received their claim, or queries from HMRC, with 10 working days since making a claim.