A new online service has been announced to launch allowing small businesses to claim a rebate for Statutory Sick Pay (SSP) payments to staff affected by the coronavirus.
Following the government’s announcement in March’s budget that small- and medium-sized businesses (SMEs) would be reimbursed for SSP paid out to staff self-isolating due to contact with a coronavirus case or because of showing symptoms themselves, from May 26th, businesses will be able to lodge claims for a rebate.
SMEs, defined as businesses with fewer than 250 employees will be able to apply to HMRC to recover the costs of paying SSP where staff have been advised against work in line with government coronavirus guidance from March 13th onwards. SSP paid out because of other illness is not covered by the rebate scheme.
Secretary of State for the Department of Work and Pensions, Therese Coffey, said:
We are committed to supporting Britain’s small and medium businesses through this pandemic with a comprehensive package of support.
“This rebate will put money back in the pockets of millions of employers, ensuring they can hit the ground running as the economy re-opens.”
Angela MacDonald, HMRC’s Director General of Customer Services, said:
Our teams have worked hard to deliver this scheme for employers and their employees to ensure they get the support they need. We want employers to be secure in the knowledge they will receive help as they care for their staff during this difficult period.”
The rebate will cover up to two weeks of SSP payments, paid at £95.85 per week, if an employee cannot work because:
- have coronavirus; or
- are self-isolating and unable to work from home; or
- are shielding because they’ve been advised by government that they’re at high risk of severe illness from coronavirus
Employers are eligible if they have a PAYE payroll scheme created and started before 28th February 2020, and have fewer than 250 employees. The scheme covers all types of employment contracts, including agency and zero-hours contracts.
To prepare to claim a rebate, employers should keep records of all the coronavirus SSP payments that they wish to claim from HMRC, and follow the additional guidance on the scheme on the government website.