Coronavirus Statutory Sick Pay Rebate Scheme Opens 26th May 2020

The Coronavirus Statutory Sick Pay Rebate Scheme opens for online claims from Tuesday 26 May 2020. This government Scheme is for employers who had a PAYE scheme on or before 28 February 2020 and less than 250 employees before this date.

The repayment will cover up to 2 weeks coronavirus related Statutory Sick Pay (SSP) at the applicable rate for current or former employees who were unable to work on or after the 13 March 2020. This is because they either:

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

The Scheme covers all types of employment contracts including full-time, part-time, employees on agency contracts, flexible or zero-hour contracts. If you’re an employer who pays more than the current rate of SSP, you can only claim the current rate amount.

Connected Companies and Charities

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

Statutory Sick Pay (SSP)

SSP is the minimum level of pay employees are entitled to when off work because they are sick. Only qualifying employees are entitled to SSP and to qualify, the employee’s average weekly earnings must be at least £120 from 6 April 2020 (prior to the 6 April 2020 this was £118). As with any other illness, a person who is off sick with the coronavirus will be entitled to SSP provided they satisfy the qualifying conditions.

SSP for Employees Self-Isolating Before 13 March 2020

Employees who were self-isolating before 13 March 2020 because they had coronavirus symptoms, could receive SSP from the fourth day of their isolation. Those in self-isolation before 13 March 2020 because someone in their household had symptoms, do not qualify for SSP.

SSP for Employees Self-Isolating From 13 March 2020

Employees who are in self-isolation due to coronavirus, are eligible for SSP which is £95.85. If claiming for the period 13 March to 5 April 2020, the relevant amount to claim for that period is £94.25 per week.

Records That Must Be Kept

You must keep records of all the coronavirus SSP that you want to claim from the HMRC including:

  • The reason why an employee could not work: they had symptoms, someone they lived with had symptoms or they were shielding.
  • Dates when the employee was off sick.
  • Details of the SSP qualifying days when an employee could not work.
  • The employee’s National Insurance number.

Records of staff absences and SSP payments should be kept for 3 years after the end of the tax year you paid SSP.

Employees do not have to give you a doctor’s fit note for you to make a claim. Although you can ask them for an isolation note from NHS 111 or evidence of the need to shield letter. If you are in doubt, you can seek the employee’s consent to write to their GP.

What You Will Need To Use the Online Scheme

  • The Government Gateway user ID when you registered for PAYE Online.
  • If you did not register online you will need to enrol for the PAYE Online service.
  • If you do not have it Find your lost Government Gateway user ID
  • Your employer PAYE scheme reference number.
  • Your contact name and phone number in case of queries.
  • Your UK bank or building society details that accepts Bacs payment.
  • The 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.
  • The number of employees you are claiming for.
  • The start date and end date of the claim period.

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.

If you use an agent who is authorised to do PAYE online for you, they will be able to claim on your behalf. If you’re unable to claim online an alternative way to claim will be available shortly.

HMRC Advice & Guidance

For more information on eligibility and the preparations employers can make to use the scheme, HMRC encourage using their advice pages GOV.UK or their online webchat service.

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