Usually, you can’t claim back Statutory Sick Pay (SSP) as an employer. But under the Coronavirus Statutory Sick Pay Rebate Scheme (CSSPRS), you can now claim back SSP for an employee if their absence is Covid-related. If you’re a small business with several team members on sick leave with Covid-19, being able to claim back their SSP payments will make a significant difference to your payroll outgoings and your overall cashflow situation as a business. We’ll run you through the rules, how to know if your company is eligible and the other details related to making a claim under CSSPRS.
When team members test positive for the virus and have to begin a period of sick leave, this can have both an operational and a financial impact on the business. Being able to claim back your SSP payments helps to lessen the economic impact and allows you to provide support, sick pay, and reassurance to those employees who are unlucky enough to have tested positive for Covid.
To be eligible to reclaim the SSP:
- The company must employ less than 250 people and have been operating a PAYE scheme before 28 Feb 2020.
- The maximum claim period is two weeks. The maximum claim amount is £95.85/week (£94.25 to 5th April 2020)
- The reasons for the sickness that are covered have changed over the course of the year, but as an employer, you’re entitled to recover SSP paid if:
- From 13/03 – your employee is self-isolating because they, or a person at the same address, have Covid symptoms.
- From 16/04 – your Employee has been informed by their GP or by the NHS that they were in a high-risk group.
- From 28/05 – your employee has been informed by the NHS/Public Health that they have been in contact with someone who has tested positive for Covid-19.
- From 06/07– if someone in their support bubble (or extended household in Scotland or Wales) has Covid symptoms, or has tested positive for coronavirus.
- From 26/08 – your employee has been advised by a doctor or healthcare professional to self-isolate before going into hospital for surgery.
- NB: People not in any of the above categories and who are self-isolating because of post-overseas-travel quarantining are NOT covered by the refund scheme (and your employee isn’t entitled to SSP either.)
- As an employer, you can demand an isolation note from NHS 111 if your employee is self-isolating and can’t work because of coronavirus. Your employee can also provide a ‘shielding note’, or a letter from their doctor, or health authority, advising them to shield because they’re at high risk of severe illness from coronavirus.
- Your employee must be absent for at least four consecutive days, but the claim is from day one of their sickness periods.
- As the employer, you can claim for the same employee under both the furlough scheme (CJRS) and the CSSPRS scheme, but not for the same period.
- The claim is made through the HMRC online portal. Registered agents (such as your accountant or tax adviser) can claim on your behalf. If you don’t have a registered agent, the company will need to register for ‘PAYE Online’.
- Note: For ‘normal’ non-Covid sickness, SSP is not reclaimable by you, as an employer, and your employee is only entitled to be paid SSP from day three of their absence.