Statutory sick pay (SSP) relief for small and medium sized businesses was one of the earliest measures to be announced amongst the government’s first release of Coronavirus support schemes. During the Spring Budget held by the Chancellor on 11 March 2020 it was announced that SSP would be extended to include the first day of any reported sickness related to Coronavirus, as opposed to beginning on the fourth day for all other non-related sickness. The extension of SSP also included anyone who was self-isolating for two weeks as they were living in the same household as someone with symptoms. From 16 April 2020, SSP was extended further to include anyone who was shielding from Coronavirus on the advice of the NHS or their GP.
As a result of the changes made to SSP, the government recognised the additional cost to employers and businesses, and therefore introduced the Coronavirus Statutory Sick Pay Rebate Scheme (CSSPRS) which would allow them to reclaim a maximum of £191.70 per employee (two week’s of sick pay at £95.85 per week). For any employees who were absent due to the virus between 13 March and 5 April, employers are able to claim at a rate of £94.25 per week.
Which businesses are eligible to claim Coronavirus Sick Pay Rebate?
If you are an employer then you need to meet the following requirements in order to be eligible to claim from the CSSPRS:
- Your business has fewer than 250 members of staff on the PAYE payroll on 28 February 2020 (this takes into the consideration the total number of employees you may have from connected companies – any other company you are in control of if you own multiple limited companies)
- Your business was not in any financial difficulty as of 31 December 2019 which can include being in a status of insolvency or receiving rescue aid
- You are eligible to receive the amount you are claiming for as state aid under the EU’s Temporary State Aid Framework
Which employees are covered under the Coronavirus Sick Pay Rebate?
You will only receive a rebate for those employees who received SSP for Coronavirus reasons and not for other sickness or illnesses. The scheme will cover different types of employees including:
- Full-time and part-time employees
- Employees on fixed term contracts (up until the end date of the contract)
- Employees on agency contracts
- Employees on flexible or zero-hour contracts
Employees do not need to provide employers with a doctor’s note but as an employer, you can ask them to provide an isolation note from NHS 111 or the NHS or GP letter which advises that they should stay at home for 12 weeks to shield from Coronavirus.
How to claim from the Coronavirus Sick Pay Rebate Scheme?
Once you have entered the online portal, you will need to provide the following information:
- Your employer PAYE scheme reference number
- A contact name and telephone number (we advise you use details for the person who manages your payroll as this is for HMRC to contact you in case of queries)
- A UK bank account or building society number so that a BACS payment can be made to you
- The start date and end date of your claim period
- The total amount of Coronavirus SSP that you paid during the claim period
- The number of employees you are claiming for
You can also authorise an agent to help you make this claim on your behalf. If you would like any help, please see our Payroll page.
When can I not claim for the Coronavirus Sick Pay Rebate?
As there are various schemes in operation available to businesses, it is understandable that many will want to use all those that they are eligible for. Employers are able to claim from both the Coronavirus Job Retention Scheme and the CSSPRS but not for the same time period