The scheme which enables small businesses to recover SSP costs paid to employees, due to coronavirus, will close on 30th September 2021. It was set up to allow eligible employers to claim back up to 2 weeks of SSP because an employee was unable to work due to coronavirus. Employers have until 31st December 2021 to submit claims related to any period before the scheme closes.
We have put together a list of commonly asked questions which we hope you will find useful. If you have a specific question, please provide the details in the box below and we’ll get back to you.
How do I know if I am an eligible employer?
- You need to have a PAYE scheme which was created and started on or before 28th February 2020
- You have less than 250 employees on 28th February 2020 across all connected companies
Which employees can I claim for?
The scheme covers all types of employment contracts, including; full-time, part-time, employees on agency contracts, employees on flexible or zero-hour contracts and fixed term contracts (until the date their contract ends).
You can claim back from both the Coronavirus Job Retention Scheme and the Coronavirus Statutory Sick Pay Rebate Scheme for the same employee but not for the same period of time.
What should the employee provide as evidence?
You do not need a doctor’s fit note but you can ask the employee to give you either:
- an isolation note from NHS 111 – if self-isolating and cannot work because of coronavirus (COVID-19)
- a ‘shielding note’ or a letter from a doctor or health authority advising the employee to shield because they are at high risk of severe illness from coronavirus
How much can I claim?
You can claim from the first qualifying day your employee is off work if the period of sickness started on or after:
- 13 March 2020 – if your employee had coronavirus or the symptoms or was self-isolating because someone they live with had symptoms
- 16 April 2020 – if your employee was shielding because of coronavirus
- 28 May 2020 – if your employee had been notified by the NHS or public health bodies that they had come into contact with someone with coronavirus
- 26 August 2020 – if your employee had been notified by the NHS to self-isolate before surgery
The repayment covers up to 2 weeks SSP. The current weekly rate is £96.35 effective 6th April 2021. You can make more than one claim per employee but you cannot claim for more than 2 weeks in total.
How do I claim?
You have to pay the sick pay before you can claim it. Claims are submitted online through the government gateway. You will need the following information:
- the number of employees being claimed
- start and end dates of the claim period
- the total amount of sick pay being claimed (should not exceed 2 weeks of the set SSP rate)
- Government Gateway user ID and password
- the employer PAYE reference number
- the contact name and phone number of someone HMRC can contact if there are queries
- the UK bank or building society account details for the claim to be paid, including; bank or building society account number (and roll number if it has one), sort code, name on the account, your address linked to your bank or building society account
When will I receive the repayment?
The claim is checked and if valid it will be paid within 6 working days to the bank details provided on the claim. It is not possible to check the progress of the claim. Only contact HMRC if it has been more than 10 working days since the claim was submitted and no contact from HMRC has been made since the submission.
What if I make an error?
HMRC will check claims and take appropriate action to withhold or recover payments found to be dishonest or inaccurate. Where the error is found to be knowingly and deliberately providing false or misleading information to benefit from the claim, HMRC will apply penalties of up to £3000.
What records do I need to keep?
You should retain information for 3 years after the date the payment is received for the claim. The following should be kept:
- Employee name
- Dates of sickness
- Which days were qualifying days
- The reason for sickness
- National Insurance Number
Also, print and save the state aid declaration from the claim summary and keep this until 31 December 2024.
What happens after 30th September if an employee is sick because of coronavirus?
The usual rules for SSP will apply so the employer will cover the cost. However, the three waiting days have not been repealed so it seems that SSP will be payable from the first qualifying day of sickness if related to coronavirus, thus increasing the employer costs. We await further clarity from HMRC regarding this.
For more information and advice please fill out the form below or contact one of our team of specialists on the right
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