On 26 May 2020, the government launched the online Coronavirus Statutory Sick Pay Rebate Scheme. The Schemeoriginally announced in March is now available for employers to recover the costs of Statutory Sick Pay (SSP) payments that they have made to their employees due to Covid-19. Below is a summary of how the Scheme operates. As this is a fast-moving area of law, this blog should be read as correct at the time of publication.
Employers are entitled to claim reimbursement if : (i) they have a PAYE payroll scheme that was created and started before 28 February 2020; (ii) they have fewer than 250 employees and (iii) they paid out SSP to their employees due to the absences related to Covid-19.
The employees for whom the repayments can be claimed:
Employees who are off sick with Covid-19 (covering any periods from 13 March 2020)
Shielded employees (covering any periods from 16 April 2020)
Employees who are self-isolated at home regardless of whether they display Covid-19 symptoms under NHS Test and Trace system (covering any periods from 28 May 2020)
The Scheme covers all types of employment contracts, including full-time employees, part-time employees, employees on agency contracts and employees on flexible or zero-hour contracts.
Under the Coronavirus Job Retention scheme, employers could furlough an employee sick with Covid-19, shielded, or self-isolating. Once placed under the furlough Scheme, the employee would be considered a furloughed employee, and cannot claim SSP.
The guidance confirms that an employer can make claims under both the Coronavirus Job retention Scheme and also under the SSP Rebate Scheme for the same employee, but not for the same period.
How much can be claimed back under the Scheme
The Scheme will offer a refund of the government to the employers to cover up to two weeks of SSP per affected employees. The current rate of SSP is £95.85 per week. The employers may choose to pay more than the statutory minimum but only be able to claim the SSP rate under the Scheme.
How to claim
Employers may apply online here using the government gateway user ID details. Employers must have registered for PAYE online before.
The application should include information in relation to:
the number of employees the rebate is claimed for.
the start and end dates of the claim period,
the total amount of the coronavirus related SSP paid to the employees.
the employer PAYE reference number.
UK bank account details.
person of contact details.
Once the claim has been submitted and checked, the HMRC will make the payment within six working days.
If you are having queries or need assistance on how the scheme works, please contact our team of employment specialists today.
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