The Coronavirus Statutory Sick Pay Rebate Scheme allows small and medium-sized businesses and employers to reclaim Statutory Sick Pay (SSP) paid for sickness absence due to COVID-19. The online service to reclaim SSP launched on 26 May 2020.

The scheme covers up to 2 weeks’ SSP per eligible employee who has been off work because of COVID-19. Employers are eligible for the scheme if their business is UK based, small or medium-sized and employed fewer than 250 employees as of 28 February 2020. Employers must also have had a PAYE payroll scheme that was created and started on or before 28 February 2020.

A claim can be made for employees that had / have Coronavirus, cannot work because they are self-isolating at home or are shielding in line with public health guidance. The remit of the scheme was widened with effect from 28 May 2020 to include employees who have been told to self-isolate under the new NHS ‘Test and Trace’ system as they have come into contact with someone with Coronavirus. The temporary legislation deems individuals who are self-isolating as incapable of work for the purposes of SSP.

Employers should maintain records of staff absences and payments of SSP, but employees will not need to provide a GP fit note. If evidence is required by an employer, those with symptoms of Coronavirus can get an isolation note from NHS 111 online and those who live with someone that has symptoms can get a note from the NHS website.

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Small-and medium-sized businesses and employers can reclaim Statutory Sick Pay (SSP) paid for sickness absence due to COVID-19. You are eligible for the scheme if your business is UK based, small or medium-sized and employs fewer than 250 employees as of 28 February 2020.

The scheme will cover up to 2 weeks’ SSP per eligible employee, who has been off work because of COVID-19, either because they have Coronavirus or cannot work because they are self-isolating at home.

The Coronavirus Statutory Sick Pay Rebate Scheme will repay employers the current rate of SSP paid for periods of sickness starting on or after 13 March 2020.

The online service to reclaim SSP is not available as yet. HMRC is working to set up the repayment mechanism for employers as soon as possible.

Employers should maintain and hold records of staff absences and payments of SSP for at least 3 years following a claim.

These records include:

  • 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 to whom you have paid SSP

Employees will not be required to provide a GP fit note in order for their employer to make a claim. 

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