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HM Revenue & Customs (HMRC) is expected to release a new online service to help companies reclaim Statutory Sick Pay (SSP) that has been paid as a result of COVID-19.
As such, it has updated its guidance on its website to help businesses prepare to reclaim SSP.
The Coronavirus Statutory Sick Pay Rebate Scheme will repay employers the current rate of SSP (£95.85 per week) that they have paid to current or former employees for periods of sickness starting on or after 13 March 2020.
Some employers may be contractually obliged to pay more than the current rate of SSP through top-up payments, but HMRC has confirmed that the scheme will only cover the current statutory rate.
The reimbursement scheme covers up to two-weeks of SSP starting from the first day of sickness if an employee is/was unable to work because they either have/had coronavirus, are shielding in line with guidance or are self-isolating at home. Employees do not have to have provided a doctor’s fit note for you to make a claim.
To be eligible for a repayment of SSP, an employer has to:
- be claiming for an employee who is eligible for sick pay due to coronavirus
- have a PAYE payroll scheme that was created and started on or before 28 February 2020
- have had fewer than 250 employees on 28 February 2020.
The scheme covers all types of employment, including agency workers and those on flexible or zero-hour contracts.
Connected companies and charities can also use the scheme if their total combined number of PAYE employees was fewer than 250 on or before 28 February 2020.
To make a claim an employer must keep a record of:
- the reason why an employee could not work;
- details of each period when an employee could not work, including start and end dates;
- details of the SSP qualifying days when an employee could not work; and
- National Insurance numbers of all employees who have received SSP as a result of coronavirus.
Businesses must keep these records for at least three years following their claim.