Coronavirus Statutory Sick Pay rebate scheme now open
26 May 2020
The portal for claiming under the SSP rebate scheme opens on 26th May.
The guidance and the legislation advise that an employer has to be eligible in two regards:
- There must be fewer than 250 employees on 28th February 2020. This applies to all the PAYE schemes operated by the employer.
- The employer was not ‘in difficulty’ on 31st December 2019.
What periods can a claim cover?
An SSP rebate can be claimed by eligible employers for the first 14 days per employee in the following circumstances:
- absence through COVID-19 related sickness or self-isolation starting on or after 13th March 2020.
- absence through COVID-19 related shielding, following public health advice and where the employee is in receipt of a letter from the GP or the NHS, for periods starting on and after 16th April 2020.
How to claim
The online reclaims portal opened on 26th May 2020. Like the CJRS, the service is accessed via a government gateway user ID. Tax agents can make claims on behalf of their clients provided they are authorised as the employer’s payroll agent with HMRC.
The following information will be needed:
- The employer PAYE scheme reference number
- A contact name and telephone phone number
- UK bank or building society details for Bacs payments
- The total amount of COVID-19 SSP paid for the claim period
- The number of employees being claimed for
- The start date and end date of the claim period
Each claim can cover multiple employees, and there is no indication that each employee will have to be identified individually in the claim by saying their NI number.
The updated HMRC guidance is less clear that the following declarations will need to be made (this is quoted in the legislation):
- A declaration that the employer was not in difficulty on 31st December 2019.
- A declaration confirming the amount claimed will not result in the amount of state aid received making them exceed the allowable cap for their sector.
- A declaration the information stated in the claim is true and accurate.
Read the guidance
We strongly recommend that employers read the HMRC guidance in full, as this is HMRC’s interpretation of the legislation. Employers are particularly advised to read the parts about:
- records to keep
- time limits for claiming
Note the danger of double claims
HMRC warns employers: ‘You can claim back from both the coronavirus job retention scheme and the coronavirus statutory sick pay rebate scheme for the same employee, but not for the same period of time for that employee.’
Other things to remember:
- The SSP rate changed on 6th April 2020 (from £94.25 to £95.85 per week), therefore, claims may be at different rates.
- The 28-week maximum SSP rule has not changed. SSP cannot exceed 28 weeks in any period of incapacity for work (PIW) or series of linked PIWs. Check that SSP was payable in the first place and does not exceed the maximum number of weeks payable.