HM Revenue and Customs has announced that it will be launching its new online Statutory Sick Pay claim service on 26th May.
Before the pandemic, the liability for Statutory Sick Pay (SSP) costs fell with the employer after a change to the rules in 2014, however the Government has confirmed it will now pick up these additional costs where all the criteria are met
Claims will be able to be made where the period of sickness is due to the employee either having the virus or it’s symptoms, self-isolating because someone they live with has symptoms (after 13th March), or because they are shielding and have a letter from the NHS or their GP telling them to stay at home for at least 12 weeks (after 16th April).
The claim will be for a maximum of two weeks’ SSP per employee at rates applicable to 2019/20 (£94.25/week) or 2020/21 (£95.85/week).
Angela MacDonald, HMRC’s Director General of Customer Services, said: “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.”
Although employers will be able to access the service if they have a PAYE payroll scheme that was created and started before 28th February 2020, accountants will also be able to make claims on their behalf.
HMRC has published its guidance to confirm what employers need to do to prepare to make a claim, and the information they will need.
The information needed to make claims will be:
the employer PAYE scheme reference number
contact name and phone number of someone HMRC can contact if they have queries
UK bank or building society details for a bank account where a BACS payment can be accepted
the total amount of coronavirus SSP paid to employees for the claim period – this should not exceed the weekly rate that is set
the number of employees being claimed for
the start date and end date of the claim period
It is anticipated that a claim can be made for multiple pay periods and employees at the same time.
Records in support of a claim must be kept for three years after receipt of a payment under the scheme, and in a format in which they can be provided to HMRC and are as follows:
- 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
From the guidance available so far, it looks as though this will be a more straightforward and consolidated process than that for furlough claims, however we will be able to assist with this, and provide advice on all other aspects of your payroll, so please get in touch with us on 0800 0523 555 or use our online enquiry form.