The government will be refunding the cost of Coronavirus Statutory Sick Pay (SSP) for small businesses, providing you have a PAYE payroll scheme that was created and started on or before 28 February 2020 and you have up to 250 employees, again as at 28 February 2020.
The repayment will cover up to 14 days and be payable from day one for affected individuals.
All types of employment contracts are covered by this scheme, including:
- full-time employees
- part-time employees
- employees on agency contracts
- employees on flexible or zero-hour contracts
- fixed term contracts (until the date their contract ends).
SSP is available for periods of sickness starting on or after 13 March 2020 for individuals who:
- have coronavirus
- have coronavirus symptoms
- are self-isolating because someone in their household has coronavirus symptoms.
SSP is also available for periods of sickness starting on or after 16 April 2020 for individuals who are considered clinically extremely vulnerable (this is referred to as ‘shielding’) and have a letter from the NHS or GP requiring them to stay at home for at least 12 weeks.
Individuals who are displaying symptoms of coronavirus or living with someone symptomatic of coronavirus can get an isolation note from the NHS website or, if they are registered with a GP in England the NHS mobile phone app. These notes can be used by employees where their employers require evidence.
The weekly allowance for SSP increased from £94.25 to £95.85 on 6 April. You can use the SSP calculator to work out the actual amount.
How to claim – to reclaim SSP you will need to use the online service which is available from 26 May 2020.
If you are a GWA client who uses our PAYE services please get in touch as we will be able to make the claims on your behalf.
If you are claiming SSP directly, you need the Government Gateway user ID you got when you registered for PAYE Online. If you have not yet registered for PAYE online you will need to do so – this can be accessed here on the GOV.UK website.
If you have lost your Government Gateway user ID you can find it using this link.
In order to make a claim you will need:
- your employer PAYE scheme reference number
- UK bank or building society details (a Bacs payment must be accepted)
- the total amount of coronavirus SSP you have paid to your employees
- 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 the earliest pay period you’re claiming for should be the start date of your claim. The end date of your claim is the end date of the most recent pay period you are claiming for.
As yet, there are not any details of an an alternative way to claim should you be unable to use the online service.
The government has also specified that employers must retain records for three years following receipt of payment for any SSP claim. You should therefore keep the following records in case there is any future dispute over payment of SSP.
- the dates the employee was off sick
- which of those dates were qualifying days
- the reason they were off work – if they had symptoms, someone they lived with had symptoms or they were shielding
- the employee’s National Insurance number.
We are happy to help with any questions or concerns you may have in relation to the Coronavirus SSP scheme. Please contact the partner who usually manages your affairs or one of our experts in the Payroll team in either our Berwick or Haddington offices.