Paying Statutory Sick Pay (SSP)
Eligibility: UK based SMEs with less than 250 employees at 28th February 2020. Employer should maintain record of staff absence (no GP "fit to work" required)
How to access: Rebate scheme in development (TBC)
Timing: Opens 26th May
A number of measures have been announced. All employees who self-isolate will be able to claim SSP and, as a temporary measure, SSP claims can be made from Day 1 rather than Day 4 of illness. Employees who are caring for someone who is self-isolating will also be able to claim SSP on this basis.
Businesses with fewer than 250 employees as at 28 February 2020 will be able to reclaim SSP expenditure up to a maximum of two weeks per employee from the government.
HMRC has released additional guidance which confirms what employers who are planning to make claims under the Coronavirus Statutory Sick Pay Rebate Scheme need to do to prepare.
The online service which will be used to reclaim Statutory Sick Pay (SSP) will be available from 26 May 2020. Employers are being advised which steps they should take to prepare for making their claims now.
In order to access the online service, businesses will require the Government Gateway user ID they received when they registered for PAYE Online. If businesses did not register online, they will need to ensure that they enrol for the PAYE Online service.
Employers can find their lost Government Gateway user ID if they cannot locate it.
Agents who are authorised to operate PAYE online for their clients will also be able to claim on their behalf.
For any businesses that are unable to claim online there will be an alternative method for claiming but further information will be issued in the near future.
Businesses will require:
- Their employer PAYE scheme reference number
- A contact name and phone number for someone HMRC can contact should they have any queries
- UK bank or building society details – only details for bank accounts that accept BACS payments should be listed
- The total amount of coronavirus related SSP that has been paid to employees for the claim period – this should not exceed the weekly rate that is set
- The number of employees the claim is being made for
- The start and end date of the claim period
Businesses may claim for multiple pay periods and employees at the same time. The start date of the claim is the start date of the earliest pay period the business is claiming for, and the end date of the claim is the end date of the most recent pay period they’re claiming.
Employers must retain records of the SSP that they’ve paid and wish to reclaim from HMRC. The records must be kept for three years after the date they wish to receive the payment for their claim.
Employers must keep:
- The dates the employee(s) was off sick
- Which of those dates were qualifying days
- The reason employee(s) gave for being absent from work – if they had symptoms of coronavirus, lived with someone displaying symptoms of coronavirus, or were shielding
- The National Insurance (NI) number(s) of the employee(s)
The Statutory Sick Pay (Coronavirus) (Funding of Employers’ Liabilities) Regulations 2020 have been laid before Parliament to take effect from 26 May 2020 to provide for eligible employers to reclaim some, or all, of their Statutory Sick Pay (SSP) costs from HMRC.
Regulations have also been laid in Northern Ireland – ‘The Statutory Sick Pay (Coronavirus) (Funding of Employers’ Liabilities) (Northern Ireland) Regulations 2020.’