Firms get sick pay rebate for staff off due to virus

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A new online service will launch later this month for small and medium sized employers to recover Statutory Sick Pay payments made to employees because of coronavirus, the UK Government has announced.

The Coronavirus Statutory Sick Pay Rebate Scheme allows SMEs with fewer than 250 employees to apply to HMRC to recover the costs.

Employers will be able to make claims through a new online service from May 26.

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 March 13, 2020.

Therese Coffey, secretary of state for the Department of Work and Pensions, 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 reopens.’

Employers are eligible if they have a PAYE payroll scheme that was created and started before February 28, 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; or 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.