Are You Ready For The Statutory Sick Pay Scheme Launch

Published: 22 May - 2020 by Ben Rendle

What You Need To Know About The SSP Scheme

If you have employees that qualify for the Statutory Sick Pay Scheme, here is what you need to know so you are ready for the launch next week.
 

The coronavirus Statutory Sick Pay Rebate Scheme will launch online on 26 May.  The scheme will enable employers with less than 250 employees to claim coronavirus-related Statutory Sick Pay (SSP). If you are unsure on how to do this, speak to your accountants, as they will also be able to make any claims on your behalf if they manage your payroll and taxes.

 
To check if you are eligible, here are the key points:
  • you’re claiming for an employee who’s eligible for sick pay due to coronavirus
  • you had a PAYE payroll scheme in operation before 28 February 2020
  •  you had fewer than 250 employees across all PAYE schemes on 28 February 2020
  • you’re eligible to receive State Aid under the EU Commission Temporary Framework.
  • 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 entitled to SSP, because they either
  • have coronavirus
  • are self-isolating and unable to work from home
  • are shielding because they’ve been advised that they’re at high risk of severe illness from coronavirus.
They do not qualify if they have been put ‘on furlough’ as part of the Coronavirus Job Retention Scheme.
 
 
What you’ll need to claim:
  • your employer PAYE scheme reference number
  • contact name and phone number of someone we can contact if we have queries
  • UK bank or building society details (only provide bank account details where a Bacs payment can be accepted)
  • the total amount of coronavirus SSP you have paid to your employees for the claim period - this should not exceed the weekly rate that is set
  • the number of employees you are claiming for
  • the start date and end date of the claim period
  • You can claim for multiple pay periods and employees at the same time. The start date of your claim is the start date of the earliest pay period you’re claiming for. The end date of your claim is the end date of the most recent pay period you’re claiming.
 
For more information about eligibility and how employers can prepare to use the scheme, visit the GOV.UK website. 
 
You can claim for periods of sickness starting on or after:
 
13 March 2020 - if your employee had coronavirus or the symptoms or is self-isolating because someone they live with has symptoms.
 
16 April 2020 - if your employee was shielding because of coronavirus.
 
The weekly rate was £94.25 before 6 April 2020 and is now £95.85. If you’re an employer who pays more than the weekly rate of SSP you can only claim up to the weekly rate paid.
 
Who can use the scheme
 
You can use the scheme as an employer if:
  • you’re claiming for an employee who’s eligible for sick pay due to coronavirus
  • you have a PAYE payroll scheme that was created and started on or before 28 February 2020
  • you had fewer than 250 employees on 28 February 2020
  • You can claim back from both the Coronavirus Job Retention Scheme and the Coronavirus Statutory Sick Pay Rebate Scheme for the same employee but not for the same period of time for that employee.
 
Your 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)
  • We will let you know when the scheme will end.
 
SCAM ALERT: Be aware of the increasing number of scams currently going around, whereby people are claiming to be from HMRC saying that financial help can be claimed or that a tax refund is owed, and asks you to click on a link or to give information such as your name, credit card or bank details, please do not respond. You can forward suspicious emails claiming to be from HMRC to phishing@hmrc.gov.uk and texts to 60599.
 
 
As always, should you have any questions regarding your business accounting and payroll, get in touch with us and we will do our best to guide you in the right direction.  Make sure you don't miss out on what you're entitled to claim for over this uncertain period.
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