As you may have heard in the March 2020 budget HMRC announced that certain employers will be entitled to reclaim SSP paid for sickness absence due to COVID-19. Although the legislation has not yet been issued HMRC has stated the following eligibility criteria applies:
- The refund will cover up to 2 weeks’ SSP per eligible employee who has been off work because of COVID-19
- Eligible employees who self isolate in line with government advice will be entitled to SSP
- Employers with fewer than 250 employees will be eligible. The size of an employer will be determined by the number of people they employed as of 28 February 2020
- Employers will be able to reclaim expenditure for any employee who has claimed SSP (according to the new eligibility criteria) as a result of COVID-19
- Employees who earn below the lower earnings limit (£118 per week) will not be eligible
- Employers should maintain records of staff absences and payments of SSP, but employees will not need to provide a GP fit note
- People who are advised to self-isolate for COVID-19 will soon be able to obtain an alternative to the fit note to cover this by contacting NHS 111, rather than visiting a doctor. This can be used by employees where their employers require evidence
- Eligible period for the scheme will commence the day after the announcement on the extension of Statutory Sick Pay to those staying at home comes into force
- The government will work with employers over the coming months to set up the repayment mechanism for employers as soon as possible
It appears the SSP will be reclaimed as a deduction to your normal PAYE payment, but this may change.
If you have any questions then get in contact with Rob Farrell at firstname.lastname@example.org or myself.