Coronavirus Sick Pay Rebate Scheme Deadline Approaching

The Coronavirus Statutory Sick Pay Rebate Scheme was announced in May 2020 to provide further support to small and medium sized businesses during the coronavirus pandemic, but a deadline for claiming SSP is only a few weeks away.

Which employers can use the scheme?

The scheme was introduced to allow businesses with fewer than 250 employees, to apply to HMRC to recover the costs of paying statutory sick pay (SSP) for coronavirus related absences.

Employers can claim back up to 2 weeks of SSP paid to current or former employees if the following apply:

  • They have paid their employee’s SSP
  • They are claiming for an employee who was paid SSP during a coronavirus related absence
  • They have a PAYE payroll scheme that was created and started on or before 28 February 2020
  • They had fewer than 250 employees on 28 February 2020

Employers will not be able to reclaim SSP paid to their employees after the 30 September 2021. Any rebate claims for SSP paid prior to the 30 September 2021 must be made by the 31 December 2021.

What counts as a coronavirus related absence for the purposes of the scheme?

An employer can make a claim for up to 2 weeks SSP starting from the first qualifying day of sickness if an employee is absent due to one or more of the following:

  • They have coronavirus symptoms
  • They are self-isolating because they live with someone with coronavirus symptoms
  • They are self-isolating because they have been notified by the NHS that they have been in close contact with someone with coronavirus
  • They received a letter advising them to shield because they are clinically extremely vulnerable
  • They have been advised to self-isolate for 14 days before surgery

What can employers claim under the scheme?

Employers can make one claim for each employee, however this cannot be for more than 2 weeks SSP in total.

What information do employers need to make a claim?

Employers can ask their employees to provide them with either of the following documents in order to make a claim:

  • An isolation note from NHS 111
  • A shielding note or a letter from their doctor or health authority

What type of employees can an employee claim in respect of?

Employers can claim for any employee, including those employed under agency contracts and flexible zero-hours contracts.

What records must be kept by employers?

Employers must keep an accurate record of the SSP they have paid to their employees and want to claim back from HMRC. Once employers have received payment from HMRC, they will need to keep the following records for 3 years:

  • The dates the employee was absent from work
  • Which of those dates were qualifying days
  • The reason the employee was absent from work
  • The employees National Insurance number

For further advice on making a rebate claim for SSP paid to your employees during the coronavirus pandemic or any other employment law matters, please contact our Employment Law Team.

Amy Hallam
Head of Employment
t: 01246 564 012

Ellie Leatherday
Employment Solicitor
t: 01246 564 002

Georgia Jeonney
Employment Paralegal
t: 01246 564 035