Since the start of the lockdown period, the Government have introduced a package of support measures for businesses affected by the Covid-19 outbreak.
The Coronavirus Statutory Sick Pay Rebate Scheme was introduced as part of these measures.
Since HMRC have also made a number of legislative changes to measures since the Chancellor’s Announcement, we have received a number of questions asking about any changes to the SSP scheme. We wanted to highlight who currently qualify for this scheme and also provide additional information relating to its implementation.
The SSP rebate scheme will allow small and medium sized employers (with fewer than 250 employees). To apply to HMRC to recover the costs of paying coronavirus-related SSP.
Employers will be able to make their claims through a new online service from 26 May 2020.
This means they will receive repayments at the relevant rate of SSP that they have paid to current or former employees for eligible periods of sickness starting on or after 13 March 2020.
The current rate of SSP is £95.85 per week, and will only be able to reclaim the SSP rate. However employers can choose to pay more than the statutory minimum if that is their decision.
Employers are eligible if they operate a PAYE scheme that was registered and started before 28 February 2020. Also an Employer will qualify if they had fewer than 250 employees before the same date. Also you qualify if you are eligible to receive State Aid under the EU Commission Temporary Framework.
The repayment will cover up to two weeks of SSP, and is payable if an employee is unable to work because they:
- have coronavirus; or
- are self-isolating and unable to work from home; or
- are shielding because they have been advised that they are at high risk of severe illness from coronavirus.
Connected companies and charities can also claim if they meet the total combined number of PAYE employees are fewer than 250 on or before 28 February 2020.
Additional information relating to the scheme
Employees do not have to provide a doctor’s fit note in order for their employer to make a claim under the scheme make a claim.
Employers can furlough their employees who have been advised to shield in line with public health guidance and are unable to work from home, under the Coronavirus Job Retention Scheme.
Please note though if furloughed, the employee should no longer receive SSP and would be classified as a furloughed employee.
Where an employee has been notified to shield and has not been furloughed, the rebate will compensate up to 2 weeks of SSP from 16 April 2020.
The scheme covers all types of employment contracts, including:
- Full-time employees;
- Part-time employees;
- Employees on agency contracts; and
- Employees on flexible or zero-hour contracts.
To prepare to make their claim, employers should keep records of all the SSP payments that they wish to claim from HMRC.
For more information about eligibility and how employers can prepare to use the scheme, please see the enclosed .gov.uk page.