This week on the 26th of May, HMRC released the claim system for employers to reclaim the allowable two weeks SSP for coronavirus-based absence due to sickness, self-isolation and shielding. The new guidance and claim system explain how to use the Coronavirus Statutory Sick Pay Rebate Scheme to claim back employees' coronavirus-related Statutory Sick Pay (SSP).
Preparing to claim
You’ll need to check that you can use the Coronavirus Statutory Sick Pay Rebate Scheme and that you are eligible for the refund under the rules that must be applied and as with the job retention scheme be registered for PAYE Online.
Employers should also have kept detailed records of periods of incapacity for work along with any supporting evidence such as the isolation note from NHS on-line which should include a unique reference number.
Work out your claim period
You can claim for multiple pay periods and employees at the same time and given the elapsed time we would suggest the majority of claims will be on the first request.
To complete your claim, you will need the start and end dates of the claim period. Again, similarly to the retention pay system it’s looking for a complete claim period which is the:
What you will need to make your claim
You will need:
- the number of employees you are claiming for
- start and end dates of your claim period
- the total amount of coronavirus-related Statutory Sick Pay you have paid to your employees for the claim period - this should not exceed the weekly rate of SSP that is set at a maximum of £95.85 per week. Remember, SSP is based on qualifying days and therefore the daily rate is based on the number of qualifying days in an employees’ week. To assist, we have included below the table that assists in this calculation
- your Government Gateway user ID and password that you received when you registered for PAYE Online - if you do not have or know this you can trace your number through here: https://www.tax.service.gov.uk/account-recovery/lost-user-id-password/check-email?state=5ea993152100002de626c022&ui_locales=en-GB
- your employer PAYE reference number the contact name and phone number of someone we can contact if we have queries
- your UK bank or building society account details (only provide account details where a Bacs payment can be accepted) including:
- bank or building society account number (and roll number if it has one)
- sort code
- name on the account
- your address linked to your bank or building society account
Records you must keep
You must keep records of Statutory Sick Pay that you have paid and want to claim back from HMRC. For audit and control you must keep the following records for 3 years after the date you receive the payment for your claim:
- the dates the employee was off sick
- which of those dates were qualifying days
- the reason they said they were off work - if they had symptoms, someone they lived with had symptoms or they were shielding
- the employee’s National Insurance number
You can choose how you keep records of your employees’ sickness absence. HMRC may need to see these records if there is a dispute over payment of SSP.
You will need to print or save your state aid declaration (from your claim summary) and keep this until 31 December 2024.
How to claim
If you use an agent who is authorised to do PAYE Online for you, they will be able to claim on your behalf. You should speak to your agent about whether they are providing this service. Unlike the retention scheme, if you make multiple claims, the claim periods can overlap.
To make your claim you need to log in to the HMRC claim system – the link for which is below:
Employers who are unable to claim online should have received a letter on an alternative way to claim. You will need to contact HMRC if you have not received a letter and are unable to make any eligible claims online.
Once the claim is made
Your claim will be checked, and if valid, paid into the account you supplied within 6 working days. HMRC will check claims and take appropriate action to withhold or recover payments found to be dishonest or inaccurate. Where employers knowingly and deliberately provide false or misleading information to benefit from the claim, HMRC will apply penalties of up to £3000.
HMRC will contact employers using the details provided in the claim if they have any queries about the claim.