UK Government Launches Coronavirus SSP Rebate Scheme

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The UK government is set to launch a new online service to allow employers to recover Statutory Sick Pay (SSP) payments on May 26, 2020. According to the scheme, all small and medium-sized employers, with fewer than 250 employees, can now apply to HMRC, HM Revenue and Customs department, to recover the costs of paying coronavirus-related SSP.

Employers will receive repayments at the relevant rate of SSP that they have paid to current or former employees for eligible periods of sickness starting on or after March 13, 2020. Employees do not have to provide a doctor’s fit note for their employer to make a claim under the scheme. The repayment will cover up to two weeks of SSP and is payable if an employee is unable to work because they have coronavirus; or are self-isolating and unable to work from home; or are shielding because they’ve been advised that they’re at high risk of severe illness from coronavirus, according to a press release by UKFT.

In order to claim, one would need their Government Gateway user ID, their employer PAYE scheme reference number; a contact name and phone number of someone HMRC can contact if they have queries; and UK bank or building society details; The total amount of coronavirus SSP paid to employees for the claim period, this should not exceed the weekly rate that is set; the number of employees you are claiming for; and the start date and end date of the claim period.

One can claim for multiple pay periods and employees at the same time. The start date of the claim is the start date of the earliest pay period they are claiming for. The end date of the claim is the end date of the most recent pay period they are claiming. Where an employer pays more than the current rate of SSP in sick pay, they will only be able to reclaim the SSP rate.

Employers can furlough their employees who have been advised to shield and are unable to work from home. Once furloughed, the employee should no longer receive SSP, where an employee has been notified to shield and has not been furloughed, the rebate will compensate up to two weeks of SSP from April 16, 2020.