Reopening your Escape Room as COVID-19 lockdown restrictions ease
How to claim back Statutory Sick Pay (SSP)
If you’ve had employees take sick leave due to the coronavirus, there’s a chance the Coronavirus Statutory Sick Pay (SSP) Rebate Scheme will repay you, as an employer, the SSP paid to both current and former employees. Find out whether your business is eligible for this scheme, how much you could be due and how to claim.
Is my business eligible for the Statutory Sick Pay Rebate Scheme?
First thing’s first, you need to determine whether you are eligible to use the scheme. As well as having employees who have taken sick leave due to the virus, you should also have a PAYE payroll scheme that was created and started on or before 28 February 2020 and fewer than 250 employees on 28 February 2020 across all your PAYE payroll schemes.
In terms of evidencing the fact that your employees were inflicted by the coronavirus, you DO NOT necessarily need a doctor’s note from the employee to claim back the SSP. However, you can ask them for an isolation note from NHS-111 or an NHS or GP letter telling them to stay at home for at least 12 weeks due to being at high-risk. The employee doesn’t necessarily need to have been confirmed to have had the virus, this scheme also extends to those self-isolating with symptoms and those who are shielding.
The qualifying dates are as follows:
13 March 2020
If any employee had the coronavirus or the symptoms or is self-isolating because someone they live with has symptoms on or after this date, you can claim from their first qualifying sick day.
16 April 2020
If your employee was shielding because of coronavirus on or after this date, you can claim from their first qualifying sick day.
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 on or after this date, you can claim from their first qualifying sick day.
This scheme covers employees of all types, from full time workers to part time employees and contractors. For furloughed employees, you can still claim on this scheme despite having also claimed on the Coronavirus Job Retention Scheme for the same employee, but not for the same period of time.
You can read more about whether your business is eligible on the GOV.UK website here.
How much can you claim on the Statutory Sick Pay Rebate Scheme?
This scheme will cover up to two weeks of SSP for an individual employee, commencing from their first qualifying day of qualifying sickness. The weekly rate for SSP currently stands at £95.85 – if you pay more than this, the excess will not be covered under this scheme.
You can work out how much SSP an employee accumulated using this calculator.
You should have records of any SSP you’ve paid to date and want to claim back from the HMRC. If your claim is paid, you will need to keep the following records to clarify any future disputes over SSP payments along with your state aid declaration. Keep these until 31 December 2024.
- the dates the employee was off sick
- which of those dates were qualifying days
- the reason they said they were off work – if they had symptoms, someone they lived with had symptoms or they were shielding
- the employee’s National Insurance number
How can a business claim on the Statutory Sick Pay Rebate Scheme?
Before you can claim back an employees’ SSP, you will need to have paid it to them prior to the claim.
You can start making your claim using this link.
Before you start, you will need to work out the number of employees you are claiming for as well as the period of time. There’s a list of everything you need in the link above. Any valid claims will get paid within 6 working days.
The HMRC are encouraging anyone struggling to use the online system to contact them directly using this link.
Support for SMEs
There’s a lot of support available for SMEs of late and it’s worth taking advantage of it now while it’s still around – these schemes will not be around forever. If you need any support regarding your insurance during this time, please don’t hesitate to get in touch with The Insurance Centre on 01524 848506. We’re here to help in whichever way we can.