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COVID-19 : SSP Rebate Scheme – Recovering the SSP Costs of Sick Employees

SSP Rebate Scheme

Tuesday, 26th May 2020

Has your business suffered due to staff sicknesses or have staff unable to work due to COVID-19?

At what is already a cashflow crisis for many businesses, we can announce another government scheme to help recover some of the costs incurred during these unprecedented times.

With effect from today, Tuesday 26th May 2020, employers can access PAYE online services to reclaim coronavirus related Statutory Sick Pay (SSP).

This is called the Coronavirus Statutory Sick Pay Rebate Scheme.

Are you eligible to claim?

HMRC have confirmed that authorised agents can claim the SSP rebate on behalf of eligible employers.

The team at Onyx can review your payroll records and SSP payments made during the past couple of months and will be able to advise if you are eligible and will also assist with your claim.

Key Facts

  • Covers SSP paid to current and former employers
  • SSP must be because of coronavirus
  • Reclaim up to 2 weeks per period of SSP, per employee
  • Claim for multiple periods
  • Eligible payrolls created or started on or before 28th February 2020
  • Have fewer than 250 employees on 28th February 2020
  • Covers all types of employment contracts
  • Authorised agents can process claims

Background information

The Coronavirus Statutory Sick Pay Rebate Scheme will repay employers the SSP paid to current or former employees.

The repayment will cover up to 2 weeks starting from the first qualifying day of sickness.

Coronavirus related SSP can only be paid if an employee is unable to work due to the following:

  • The employee has coronavirus (COVID-19) symptoms
  • The employee cannot work because they are self-isolating because someone they live with has symptoms
  • The employee is shielding and has a letter from the NHS or a GP telling them to stay at home for at least 12 weeks

Periods of sickness must start on or after:

  • 13 March 2020 – if an employee had coronavirus or the symptoms or is self-isolating because someone they live with has symptoms
  • 16 April 2020 – if an employee was shielding because of coronavirus

Due to the timing of when the coronavirus related SSP rules were introduced, there are two weekly rates:

  • Tax year 2019/2020 = £94.25
  • Tax year 2020/2021 = £95.85.

Employers who pay more than the weekly rate of SSP can only claim up to the statutory weekly rate applicable to the tax year in which the SSP qualifying period occurred.

At the time of releasing this article, an end date to this rebate scheme had not been decided.

Working out the actual amount of claim can be tricky, particularly if the SSP qualifying period covers 2 tax years. Onyx has a dedicated payroll department that can work out the eligible amount of claim. Contact us to now to find out how much you could claim.

Who can use the scheme?

Eligible employers can only use the scheme if they are claiming for an employee eligible for sick pay due to coronavirus.

The PAYE payroll scheme must have no more than 250 employees and was created and started on or before 28th February 2020.

Eligible employers include connected companies and charities; and the same restrictions apply.

It is possible for an employee to be included in both the Coronavirus Job Retention Scheme (CJRS) and the Coronavirus Statutory Sick Pay Rebate Scheme; however, the claims cannot be for the same period of time for that employee.

Onyx have helped to process hundreds of CJRS claims. If you have not done yours yet and are unsure where to start, then we can help. Please call us immediately as once processed most CJRS claims are paid into your nominated bank account within a few days. Click HERE to find out more.

The claim amount should not take you above the state aid limits under the EU Commission temporary framework. This is when combined with other aid received under the framework. The maximum level of state aid that a business may receive is €800,000. There is a lower maximum for agriculture at €100,000 and aquaculture and fisheries at €120,000.

The scheme covers all types of employment contracts, including:

  • full-time employees
  • part-time employees
  • employees on agency contracts
  • employees on flexible or zero-hour contracts
  • fixed term contracts (until the date their contract ends)

Making a claim

Claims can be made from Tuesday, 26th May 2020 and must be made using the online portal. Therefore, employers must have registered for the PAYE Online service and have their Government Gateway details handy.

Onyx, as authorised agents, can make the claim for you. Our dedicated payroll team can also help with the registration for online services if one has not already been set up. If you are not sure, then please contact us.

The following details are required to make a claim:

  • the employer PAYE scheme reference number
  • contact details – name and phone number
  • bank details
  • the total amount of coronavirus SSP paid for the claim period
  • the number of employees included in the claim
  • the start date and end date of the claim period

A claim can include multiple pay periods and employees at the same time. The start date of the claim is the start date of the earliest pay period being claimed for. The end date of a claim is the end date of the most recent pay period being claimed for.

GET IN TOUCH WITH ONYX

As guidelines are constantly being reviewed and lock-down restrictions are slowly eased, let us help with the recovery of your business by taking on the technical hassles of payroll and ensure that your business claims and rebates are up to date and fully implemented.

If you have any queries, or want to discuss further, please give us a call us or e-mail us at  enquiries@onyxaccountants.co.uk for a FREE no obligation consultation.

Got any questions or queries? Our friendly team are happy to help. Just drop us a line! Call us on 0121 753 5522 or 01902 759 800.