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Business Services  •  Coronavirus Advice

Rebate Scheme Launching for COVID SSP Payments

By RJP LLP on 21 May, 2020

If you are a small to medium sized business and have been paying employees Statutory Sick Pay (SSP) due to coronavirus, you are entitled to reclaim this money through the coronavirus Statutory Sick Pay Rebate Scheme.

This scheme was originally announced in the Budget and launches online on 26 May 2020.

What are the eligibility criteria for coronavirus Statutory Sick Pay Rebate Scheme?

The scheme is designed for SMEs who meet the following conditions:

  • PAYE payroll scheme in operation before 28 February 2020;
  • Fewer than 250 employees across all PAYE schemes on 28 February 2020;
  • Eligible to receive State Aid under the EU Commission Temporary Framework.

Who is covered?

Repayment will cover up to two weeks of the applicable rate of SSP and is payable if a current or former employee was unable to work on or after 13 March 2020 and is entitled to SSP because they either:

  • Have coronavirus;
  • Are self-isolating and unable to work from home; or
  • Are shielding because they’ve been advised that they’re at high risk of severe illness from coronavirus.

Importantly, employees do not have to provide a doctor’s sick note for their employer to make a claim under the scheme.

The current rate of SSP is £95.85 per week and it was £94.25 per week during the period from 13 March 2020 to 5 April 2020. Employers can choose to pay more than the statutory minimum if they wish; where this occurs, an employer will only be entitled to reclaim the SSP rate.

The rebate scheme covers all types of employment contracts, including:

  • Full-time employees;
  • Part-time employees;
  • Employees on agency contracts;
  • Employees on flexible or zero-hour contracts.

Connected companies and charities can also use the scheme if their total combined number of PAYE employees was fewer than 250 on or before 28 February 2020.

Guidance for furloughed employees

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. Once furloughed, the employee should no longer receive SSP and will 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.

For more information visit: https://www.gov.uk/guidance/claim-back-statutory-sick-pay-paid-to-employees-due-to-coronavirus-covid-19

How to claim 

To prepare to make a claim, you should keep records of all the SSP payments you wish to reclaim. If RJP LLP acts as your agent for payroll matters, we can submit rebate claims on your behalf. Please contact us for support if needed.

To submit a claim through PAYE Online via the Government Gateway, you will need to have the following information:

  • Employer PAYE scheme reference number;
  • Contact name and phone number of someone to contact regarding queries;
  • UK bank or building society details (only provide bank account details where a Bacs payment can be accepted);
  • Total amount of coronavirus SSP you have paid to your employees for the claim period - this should not exceed the weekly rate that is set;
  • Number of employees you are claiming for;
  • Start date and end date of the claim period.

Note: You can claim for multiple pay periods and employees at the same time. The start date of your claim is the start date of the earliest pay period you’re claiming for. The end date of your claim is the end date of the most recent pay period you’re claiming.

Retaining records of SSP rebate claims

After making the SSP rebate claims, you must keep the following records for 3 years after the date you receive the payment for your claim:

  • the dates the employee was off sick;
  • which of those dates were qualifying days;
  • the reason they said they were off work; if they had symptoms, someone they lived with had symptoms or they were shielding;
  • the employee’s National Insurance number.

You can choose how you keep records of your employees’ sickness absence. HMRC may need to see these records if there’s a future dispute over payment of SSP.

Be aware of scams

There has been an increase in the level of scam emails, calls and texts purporting to be from HMRC. For example, texts stating a tax refund is due and to click on a link or provide information such as your name, credit card or bank details. These are fakes, if you are due a tax refund, HMRC will write to you. They are asking the public to forward on suspicious emails to them via: phishing@hmrc.gov.uk and to send fake texts to 60599.

For information or support relating to accessing government support or managing the financial impact of COVID-19 on your business, please email us at partners@rjp.co.uk.

Read more articles like this

Summer Budget 2020 Update

Furlough Scheme Fraud

The Updated Furlough Scheme – claims for June and July 2020

Case update: New ruling over tax relief and SIPPs

Extension to the self employment support scheme

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