15 April 2020
The government has announced that it will bring forward legislation to allow SMEs to reclaim Statutory Sick Pay (SSP) paid for sickness absence due to COVID-19. The 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.
It’s important to note that if you’re an employer who pays more than the current rate of SSP you can only claim the current statutory rate amount.
The scheme will cover up to a maximum of two weeks of sick pay – either because the employee has coronavirus themselves or because they cannot work because they are self-isolating at home. No doctor’s note will be required in order for employers to make a claim.
The scheme covers all types of employment contracts, including:
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.
The government have not yet announced how the scheme will be administered, just that it will be coming soon. Businesses are advised to check for latest guidance once the means of access has been announced: https://www.gov.uk/guidance/claim-back-statutory-sick-pay-paid-to-employees-due-to-coronavirus-covid-19
However, the government has said that employers should keep records of all the statutory sick payments that you want to claim from HMRC, including:
You’ll have to keep these records for at least 3 years following your claim.