Coronavirus Statutory Sick Pay Rebate Scheme now live

HMRC has now written to MPs to let everyone know that the UK Government’s Coronavirus Statutory Sick Pay Rebate Scheme is now live on GOV.UK.

Employers with fewer than 250 employees can now claim for Coronavirus-related Statutory Sick Pay (SSP). Tax agents are also able to make claims on their behalf. 

The repayment will cover up to two weeks of the applicable rate of SSP. For more information on eligibility and how to make a claim please visit GOV.UK.

Which employers can use the Scheme?

Employers are eligible to use the scheme if they meet all of the following criteria:

  • they’re claiming for an employee who’s eligible for sick pay due to Coronavirus
  • they had a PAYE payroll scheme in operation before 28 February 2020
  • they had fewer than 250 employees across all PAYE schemes on 28 February 2020
  • they’re eligible to receive State Aid under the EU Commission Temporary Framework.

More information about this can be found on GOV.UK.

Which employees are entitled to SSP?

The repayment will cover up to two weeks of the applicable rate of SSP, and is payable if a current or former employee was unable to work on or after 13 March 2020 and is entitled to SSP, because they either:

  • had or have Coronavirus
  • could not or cannot work because they were/are self-isolating at home
  • were/are shielding in line with public health guidance.

Which records should employers keep?

Employers must keep records of SSP that they’ve paid and want to claim back from HMRC.

Employers must keep the following records for three years after the date they receive the payment for their claim:

  • the dates the employee was off sick
  • which of those dates were qualifying days
  • the reason the employee 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.

Employers can choose how they keep records of their employees’ sickness absence. HMRC may need to see these records if there’s a dispute over payment of SSP.

What if employers can’t find the information they need?

We would ask that employers only call us if they can’t find what they need on our GOV.UK advice pages or through our webchat service - this will leave our lines open for those who need our help most.

If your constituents would like to find out more about this Coronavirus support measure, and others such as HMRC’s Job Retention Scheme, they can sign up to one of our HMRC webinars on GOV.UK.

A word about scams 

Please remind your constituents to stay vigilant about scams, which may mimic government messages as a way of appearing authentic and unthreatening. They can check GOV.UK for information on how to recognise genuine HMRC contact and how to avoid and report scams. Suspicious emails claiming to be from HMRC can reported to us by sending them to: phishing@hmrc.gov.uk. Texts should be sent to 60599.   

Working safely during coronavirus - shops and branches

The Prime Minister has set out a timeline for retail to reopen next month. The Department for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy (BEIS) has published further guidance for the sector on how they can reopen and operate safely to protect their staff and customers. The press release has been published on GOV.UK and we are also sharing a toolkit with digital assets.