Coronavirus statutory sick pay rebate scheme applications open next week
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Applications for the Coronavirus Statutory Sick Pay Rebate Scheme open on Tuesday, enabling SMEs to recover the costs of Covid-19 related sick pay, says Shaun Davison of Lovewell Blake.
Next week sees the launch of claims under the Coronavirus Statutory Sick Pay Rebate Scheme, which will enable small and medium-sized employers (those with fewer than 250 employees) to recover the costs of coronavirus-related Statutory Sick Pay (SSP) payments they have made to their employees.
This means that with effect from March 13, 2020, SSP can be reclaimed from the first day of sickness absence (rather than the fourth day before the scheme), up to a maximum of two weeks, for employees who have coronavirus symptoms, or who cannot work due to having to self-isolate in line with official government guidance (this includes if they are self-isolating because someone they live with has coronavirus or is showing symptoms).
From April 16, 2020, SSP can also be claimed for employees who are shielding, provided they have a letter from the NHS or a GP telling them to stay at home for at least 12 weeks. The rate of SSP increased to £95.85 per week on April 5; it was £94.25 before that.
UK-based SMEs which employed fewer than 250 people on February 28, 2020, and which had a PAYE payroll scheme created and started before that date, are eligible for the scheme. HMRC has produced a useful calculator for employers to check eligibility and work out the amount of SSP, which can be found here.
Claims under the scheme can be made from Tuesday, May 26, via the employer’s PAYE online service account, which most employers would have already used to make furlough claims. Your accountant or agent can make this claim on your behalf. You can claim for multiple pay periods and employees at the same time.
There are a number of things you will need to hand when you make the claim, including your employer PAYE scheme reference number, a contact name and phone number of someone HMRC can contact if they have any queries, the UK bank or building society details the claim will be paid to, the total amount of coronavirus SSP you have paid to your employees for the claim period, the number of employees you are claiming for, and the start and end date of the claim period.
So far, HMRC’s Covid-19 claim websites have worked smoothly, although you should expect heavy demand for the website on Tuesday, which may slow things down a little.
To visit Lovewell Blake’s website, click here.