The government is ready to launch an online service (portal) for employers to claim under the Coronavirus Statutory Sick Pay Rebate Scheme. Under the scheme, employers can claim the payments they have made to their employees during the coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic.
The portal for claiming under the SSP rebate scheme will open on 26 May.
Everyone has been waiting for this rebate scheme to launch since the government announced it in March 2020:
- On 3 March the Prime Minister said in the House of Commons that COVID-19 related SSP would payable from the first qualifying day rather than after three waiting days (a three-day wait still applies for employees who are absent with illnesses not related to Covid-19). A press release confirmed this the following day.
- On 11 March Chancellor Rishi Sunak confirmed in his Budget 2020 that the reimbursement of SSP would only be for employers with fewer than 250 employees.
Guidance and legislation: Coronavirus Statutory Sick Pay Rebate Scheme
The scheme will allow small and medium-sized employers to apply to HMRC to recover the costs of paying coronavirus-related SSP.
Employers are eligible if they have a Pay as You Earn (PAYE) payroll scheme that was created and started before 28 February 2020 and they had fewer than 250 employees before the same date.
The repayment will cover up to two weeks of SSP. It is payable if an employee is unable to work because they have COVID-19 or if they are self-isolating.
Employers will receive repayments at the relevant rate of SSP that they have paid to current or former employees for eligible periods of sickness starting on or after 13 March 2020.
Commenting on the launch, Angela MacDonald, Director General of Customer Services at HMRC, said:
‘Our teams have worked hard to deliver this scheme for employers and their employees to ensure they get the support they need. We want employers to be secure in the knowledge they will receive help as they care for their staff during this difficult period.’
How to claim Coronavirus Statutory Sick Pay Rebate Scheme
The online reclaims portal will open on 26 May 2020, just after the Bank Holiday weekend. Like the CJRS, the service will be accessed via a government gateway user ID.
The updated guidance is clear that the following information will be needed:
- The employer PAYE scheme reference number
- A contact name and telephone phone number
- UK bank or building society details for Bacs payments
- The total amount of COVID-19 SSP paid for the claim period
- The number of employees being claimed for
- The start date and end date of the claim period
Each claim can cover multiple employees, and there is no indication that each employee will have to be identified individually in the claim by saying their NI number.