Coronavirus Statutory Sick Pay (SSP) Rebate Scheme is now live - PKF Francis Clark
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Coronavirus Statutory Sick Pay (SSP) Rebate Scheme is now live

The SSP Rebate Scheme was launched today (26 May 2020) with an online service https://www.gov.uk/guidance/claim-back-statutory-sick-pay-paid-to-your-employees-due-to-coronavirus-covid-19 now open for claims, which will be checked and then paid within six working days.

The scheme offers a refund from the government to the business for the cost of providing two weeks of coronavirus related Statutory Sick Pay (SSP) per affected employee.

The weekly rate of SSP was £94.25 but has increased to £95.85 since 6 April 2020. An employer can claim a higher amount should they pay their employees more that the statutory weekly rate of SSP and a calculator has been provided to work out the amount claimable https://www.gov.uk/calculate-statutory-sick-pay

Who is eligible?

Employers are able to use the scheme if they had an active PAYE payroll scheme prior to 28 February 2020 and had fewer than 250 employees at this date.

The rebate will cover the cost of two weeks SSP for an employee who was unable to work because they:

  • have coronavirus symptoms
  • cannot work because they are self-isolating because someone they live with has symptoms
  • are shielding and have a letter from the NHS or a GP telling them to stay at home for at least 12 weeks

You can claim for periods of sickness starting on or after:

  • 13 March 2020 – if your employee had coronavirus or the symptoms or is self-isolating because someone they live with has symptoms
  • 16 April 2020 – if your employee was shielding because of coronavirus
  • 28 May 2020 – if your employee has been notified by the NHS or public health bodies that they’ve come into contact with someone with Coronavirus

The scheme will be available for all types of employment, including full and part-time, agency and zero-hours contracts.

A claim under the scheme is also subject to state aid limits, which is generally €800,000 for most businesses, although lower limits apply to agriculture at €100,000 and to aquaculture and fisheries at €120,000.

Connected companies and charities can use the scheme, as long as their combined employees are fewer than 250 on 28 February.

How to claim

A claim can be made using the online service https://www.gov.uk/guidance/claim-back-statutory-sick-pay-paid-to-your-employees-due-to-coronavirus-covid-19#how-to-claim or alternatively if you use an agent who is authorised to do PAYE online for you, they can make a claim on your behalf (if they are offering this service).

In order to make a claim you will need:

  • the number of employees you are claiming for
  • start and end dates of your claim period
  • the total amount of coronavirus-related Statutory Sick Pay you have paid to your employees for the claim period
  • your Government Gateway user ID and password that you got when you registered for PAYE Online
  • your employer PAYE reference number
  • the contact name and phone number of someone we can contact if we have queries
  • your UK bank or building society account details (only provide account details where a Bacs payment can be accepted) 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

Records will need to be kept for three years after receipt of payment for your claim as HMRC may need these if there is a dispute over SSP claimed – penalties of up to £3,000 can be assessed for false or misleading claims.

Additionally a state aid declaration will need to be made as part of the claim and be retained until 31 December 2024.

Interaction with the Coronavirus Job Retention Scheme

Employers can furlough employees and make a claim under the CJRS for those who have been advised to shield and are unable to work from home in line with government guidance.

It is possible to make a claim for both SSP rebate and the CJRS for the same employee, although claims cannot be made covering the same period of time i.e. a claim for SSP can be made for eligible employee, before a member of staff has been on furlough, or after having returned to work and subsequently been impacted.

More information about CJRS can be found here

How we can help

If you have any queries or require assistance determining whether a claim is possible or help making a rebate claim please contact Steve Ashworth from our employer solutions team.

FEATURING: Steve Ashworth
Before joining the Bristol office of PKF Francis Clark in July 2019, Steve started his career at HMRC over 30 years ago and then spent… read more
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