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Government launches new coronavirus SSP rebate scheme

Small to medium sized employers will soon benefit from a new online service which will allow them to recover some of the coronavirus-related statutory sick pay (SSP) they have paid. This was announced some time ago but will be launched on 26 May 2020.

Secretary of State for the Department of Work and Pensions, Therese Coffey, stated that: “This rebate will put money back in the pockets of millions of employers, ensuring they can hit the ground running as the economy re-opens.”

 

Who is eligible for the scheme?

An employer will be eligible for the scheme if:

  • They are claiming for an employee who is eligible for sick pay due to coronavirus (as outlined below).

  • They had a PAYE payroll scheme that was created and started on or before 28 February 2020.

  • On 28 February 2020, they had fewer than 250 employees across all PAYE schemes.

It covers all types of employment contracts, including full and part-time employees, those on agency contracts and those working flexible or zero-hour contracts.

Tax agents will also be able to make claims on behalf of employers.

 

What costs does the scheme cover?

Employers will receive repayments of up to two weeks’ SSP which they paid to an employee who was unable to work due to:

  • having coronavirus; or

  • self-isolating and being unable to work from home; or

  • shielding because they were advised they were at high risk of severe illness from coronavirus.

This covers current and previous employees who received SSP on or after the following dates:

  • 13 March 2020 – for employees with coronavirus or self-isolating; or

  • 16 April 2020 – for shielding employees.

SSP will be repaid at the relevant rates, which was £94.25 per week between 13 March 2020 and 5 April 2020 and £95.85 per week thereafter.

 

How do I claim?

Employers using the new service will need the Government Gateway user ID they received when they registered for PAYE Online. Employers will also need details of the following:

  • PAYE scheme reference number.

  • Contact name and phone number of someone HMRC can contact if they have queries.

  • UK bank or building society details (only provide bank account details where a Bacs payment can be accepted).

  • The total amount of coronavirus SSP paid to employees for the claim period - this should not exceed the weekly rate that is set.

  • The number of employees they are claiming for.

  • The start date and end date of the claim period.

 

Do I need to keep any records?

Yes, you should retain all records of SSP payments you have paid and wish to claim from HMRC.

Records of the following must be kept for a period of 3 years after receipt of payment for the 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, were self-isolating or shielding.

  • The employee’s National Insurance number.

BPE's Employment Team will be able to advise you on any of the above guidelines employers should follow when making use of the new rebate scheme.

 

These notes have been prepared for the purpose of an article only. They should not be regarded as a substitute for taking legal advice.

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