These businesses will be able to claim back sick pay given to staff

Businesses with fewer than 250 workers will be able to recover statutory sick pay (SSP) given to their staff during the coronavirus pandemic.

An online service will launch on May 26 for small and medium-sized employers to claim SSP back from HMRC, the Government has announced today (May 19).

The Coronavirus Statutory Sick Pay Rebate Scheme was announced at Budget as part of a package of support measures for businesses affected by the Covid-19 outbreak.

They will receive repayments at the relevant rate of SSP they have paid to current or former employees for eligible periods of sickness starting on or after March 13.

Employers are eligible if they have a PAYE payroll scheme that was created before February 28 and they had fewer than 250 employees before the same date.

The repayment will cover up to two weeks of SSP, and is payable if an employee is unable to work because they have coronavirus, or are self-isolating and unable to work from home, or are shielding.

Secretary of State for the Department of Work and Pensions, Therese Coffey, said: “We are committed to supporting Britain’s small and medium businesses through this pandemic with a comprehensive package of support.

“This rebate will put money back in the pockets of millions of employers, ensuring they can hit the ground running as the economy re-opens.”

Angela MacDonald, HMRC’s Director General of Customer Services, added: “Our teams have worked hard to deliver this scheme for employers and their employees, to ensure they get the support they need.

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“We want employers to be secure in the knowledge they will receive help as they care for their staff during this difficult period.”

To prepare to make their claim, employers should keep records of all the SSP payments they wish to claim from HMRC.

The current rate of SSP is £95.85 per week. Employers can choose to go further and pay more than the statutory minimum. This is known as occupational or contractual sick pay.

Where an employer pays more than the current rate of SSP in sick pay, they will only be able to reclaim the SSP rate.

The scheme covers all types of employment contracts. Further guidance is available on GOV.UK.

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