26 May 2020
Find out if you can use the Coronavirus Statutory Sick Pay Rebate Scheme to reclaim employees' coronavirus-related Statutory Sick Pay (SSP)
The online service you’ll use to claim back Statutory Sick Pay (SSP) is now available.
The Coronavirus Statutory Sick Pay Rebate Scheme will repay employers the current rate of SSP that they pay to current or former employees 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. You can use the SSP calculator to work out the actual amount.
The repayment will cover up to two weeks starting from the first day of sickness if an employee is unable to work because they either:
- have coronavirus (COVID-19) symptoms
- cannot work because they are self-isolating because someone they live with has symptoms
- are shielding and have a letter from the NHS or a GP telling them to stay at home for at least 12 weeks
Who can use the scheme
The scheme can be used by employers if they:
- are claiming for an employee who’s eligible for sick pay due to coronavirus
- had a PAYE payroll scheme that was created and started on or before 28 February 2020
- 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)
HM Revenue & Customs (HMRC) will let you know when the scheme will end.
Connected companies and charities
Connected companies and charities can also use the scheme if their total combined number of PAYE employees are fewer than 250 on or before 28 February 2020.
Get ready to claim
The online service you’ll use to reclaim Statutory Sick Pay (SSP) will be available from 26 May 2020.
To use the online service you will need the Government Gateway user ID you got when you registered for PAYE Online. If you did not register online you will need to enrol for the PAYE Online service.
Find your lost Government Gateway user ID if you do not have it.
If you use an agent who is authorised to do PAYE online for you, they will be able to claim on your behalf.
If you’re unable to claim online an alternative way to claim will be available. HMRC will provide more information soon.
What you’ll need
- your employer PAYE scheme reference number
- contact name and phone number of someone HMRC can contact if they 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.
Records you must keep
You must keep records of all the statutory sick payments that you want to claim from HMRC, including:
- the reason why an employee could not work
- details of each period when an employee could not work, including start and end dates
- details of the SSP qualifying days when an employee could not work
- National Insurance numbers of all employees who you have paid SSP to
You’ll have to keep these records for at least three years following your claim. You can choose how you keep records of your employees’ sickness absence. HMRC may need to see these records if there’s a dispute over payment of SSP.
First published 20 March 2020