Small businesses and employers across the UK who have paid statutory sick pay (SSP) to staff taking coronavirus-related leave will be able to claim back the money from today
The coronavirus SSP rebate scheme, announced by Chancellor Rishi Sunak at the Budget officially opened for applications from 26 May.
The scheme allows small and medium sized employers, with fewer than 250 members of staff, to apply to recover the costs of paying coronavirus-related SSP, and is worth nearly £200 per employee.
To get the rebate, employers need to go online via gov.uk and input simple information on the employees being claimed for. After making an application, HMRC says they should receive the money within six working days.
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.
Tax agents can make claims on behalf of employers.
Connected companies and charities can also use the scheme if their total combined number of PAYE employees are fewer than 250 on or before 28 February 2020.
Employees do not have to provide a doctor’s fit note in order for their employer to make a claim under the scheme make a claim.
However, employers can ask them to provide either an isolation note from NHS 11 if they are self-isolating and cannot work because of coronavirus, or the NHS or GP letter telling them to stay at home for at least 12 weeks because they’re at high risk of severe illness from coronavirus.
The repayment will cover up to two weeks of SSP from either 13 March 2020, if an employee had coronavirus, symptoms or is self isolating because someone they live with has symptoms, or from 16 April 2020 if an employee was shielding because of coronavirus.
Employers can furlough their employees who have been advised to shield in line with public health guidance and are unable to work from home, under the coronavirus job retention scheme. Once furloughed, the employee should no longer receive SSP and would be classified as a furloughed employee.
Where an employee has been notified to shield and has not been furloughed, the rebate will compensate up to 2 weeks of SSP from 16 April.
The current rate of SSP is £95.85 per week. Employers can choose to pay more than the statutory minimum, but will only be able to reclaim the SSP rate.