Fish and chip shops will be able to recover Statutory Sick Pay (SSP) payments they have made to their employees via a new government scheme being launched next week.
The Coronavirus Statutory Sick Pay Rebate Scheme will allow small and medium-sized employers, with fewer than 250 employees, to apply to HMRC to recover the costs of paying coronavirus-related SSP.
Employers will be able to make their claims through a new online service from 26th May. This means they will receive repayments at the relevant rate of SSP that they have paid to current or former employees for eligible periods of sickness starting on or after 13st March 2020.
Employers are eligible if they have a PAYE payroll scheme that was created and started before 28th February 2020 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, are self-isolating and unable to work from home, or
are shielding because they’ve been advised that they’re at high risk of severe illness from coronavirus.
To prepare to make their claim, employers should keep records of all the SSP payments that they wish to claim from HMRC. You can read further guidance on checking whether you can claim back SSP paid to employees due to coronavirus (COVID-19) on GOV.UK.
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, adds: “Our teams have worked hard to deliver this scheme for employers and their employees to ensure they get the support they need. We want employers to be secure in the knowledge they will receive help as they care for their staff during this difficult period.”
The current rate of SSP is £95.85 per week.
Employers can furlough their employees who have been advised to shield in line with public health guidance and are unable to work from home, under the Coronavirus Job Retention Scheme. Once furloughed, the employee should no longer receive SSP and would be classified as a furloughed employee. Where an employee has been notified to shield and has not been furloughed, the rebate will compensate up to 2 weeks of SSP from 16 April 2020.