Statutory Sick Pay (SSP) Rebate Scheme: COVID-19
The businesses might find the cash flows dwindling due to disruption in this hour of distress. On the other hand, there might be a sudden increase in those claiming SSP. In order to cope with COVID-19 related SSP, the government has introduced to refund, eligible SSP costs to the businesses subject under some eligibility conditions.
Under the Coronavirus Statutory Sick Pay Rebate Scheme, the government will repay employers the current rate of SSP that they pay to current or former employees for periods of sickness starting on or after 13 March 2020. Even if the employer pays more than the current SSP rate, they can only claim the current rate amount.
SSP Rebate Eligibility
The employers who satisfy all the following conditions can make the claim:
- The claim has been made for paying SSP rate to an employee who is eligible for such payments due to coronavirus.
- There was a PAYE payroll scheme created and started on or before 28 February 2020.
- Businesses with 250 or fewer employees as of 28 February 2020.
- The connected companies and charities shall be eligible, if the total number of employees as on 28 February 2020 were 250 or less.
- All types of employment contracts shall be covered in 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)
Features of Statutory Sick Pay Rebate scheme
- SSP start date: The claim can be made from the first qualifying day employee is off work if the period of sickness started on or after-
- 13 March 2020 – if your employee had coronavirus or the symptoms or is self-isolating because someone they live with has symptoms
- 16 April 2020 – if your employee was shielding because of coronavirus
- 28 May 2020 – if your employee has been notified by the NHS or public health bodies that they’ve come into contact with someone with coronavirus
- 26 August 2020 – if your employee has been notified by the NHS to self-isolate before surgery
- The period covered under this scheme is 2 weeks starting from the first day of sickness if an employee is unable to work because they either have coronavirus or have self-isolated themselves or are shielding in line with public health guidance.
- Fit note: An ‘isolation note’ obtained online from NHS 111 shall suffice if you’re off work for 7 or more days as you’re self-isolating and cannot work because of coronavirus. There is no need to go to your GP or hospital.
If you have been asked to stay at home by the NHS or your GP because you’re at high risk of severe illness from coronavirus, your letter is the proof. You can contact your GP if you think you should have been sent one.
- Qualifying day: A ‘qualifying day’ is a day an employee usually works on.
- Weekly rate: The weekly rate before 6 April 2020 was £94.25 which has now changed to £95.85. If the employer pays more than the weekly rate of SSP, then they can only claim up to the weekly rate paid.
- If an employee has entered or returned to the UK after 8 June 2020, they’ll be required to quarantine for 14 days. In such cases, if they are unable to work during this period, they will not qualify for SSP unless they also meet one of the above-mentioned eligibility criteria.
Records of all statutory payments with respect to which rebates are claimed need to be kept for at least 3 years. Records include:
- The reason why the employee could not work
- Periods for which employee could not work, including start date and end dates
- Details of SSP qualifying days
- National insurance numbers of all the employees whom SSP has been paid
How to apply for SSP rebate scheme?
The online service to apply for SSP rebate claims is now live. Click here to access the service.