The government’s Coronavirus Statutory Sick Pay Rebate Scheme opens on 26 May – get all the details here.
In March, the government changed SSP rules as a result of the coronavirus pandemic. The new rules mean that an employee can receive SSP if they have coronavirus symptoms, are self-isolating because someone they live with has coronavirus, or they’re shielding.
Your employees can also get SSP from day one of being off work, rather than day four.
Following these changes, the government announced the Coronavirus Statutory Sick Pay Rebate Scheme, which lets small businesses claim back up to two weeks of SSP paid.
You can use the scheme if you’re a small business with employees claiming SSP because of coronavirus. According to gov.uk, you need to:
There are different eligibility dates depending on the reasons an employee is off. You can claim for periods of sickness starting from:
The weekly SSP rate was £94.25 in 2019-20 and changed to £95.85 on 6 April 2020. You can use the government’s SSP calculator to work out how much to pay an employee.
If you’ve topped up an employee’s sick pay payments, you can only claim back the standard SSP rate.
Read more about the SSP rate, including eligibility and form SSP1.
The scheme covers employees on all types of contracts, including:
The government says that employers can furlough an employee who’s been told to shield and isn’t able to work from home. Furloughed employees can’t then claim SSP.
If you don’t furlough an employee who’s been told to shield, they’ll receive up to two weeks of SSP from 16 April.
Read more about furloughing employees (the Coronavirus Job Retention Scheme).
You can apply for the SSP rebate online from 26 May, using the Government Gateway user ID you got when registering for PAYE Online.
If you haven’t registered for PAYE Online (likely because you didn’t register as an employer online), then you’ll need to enrol.
If you’ve authorised someone to do PAYE online for you, they can claim on your behalf. And if you’ve lost your Government Gateway user ID, you can retrieve it here.
Gov.uk says that you need:
You can claim for multiple employees and pay periods. The start date of your claim is the start of the earliest pay period you’re claiming for. The end date is the end of the most recent pay period.
It’s important to keep accurate records of sickness and SSP paid, because HMRC might ask to see them if there’s a dispute.
Gov.uk says you need to keep records for three years after you receive your payment. These include:
Use our eligibility checker to find out whether you’re eligible for any further coronavirus support from the government.
You can also have a look at our coronavirus support hub, which includes practical information to help you through these challenging times.
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