Claiming back Statutory Sick Pay due to COVID

Charlotte Allen
February 14, 2022

If you're an employer, you may be able to use the Coronavirus Statutory Sick Pay Rebate Scheme to claim back employees' Statutory Sick Pay related to COVID-19. Claims apply to those employees that were off work after 21st December 2021.

The Coronavirus Statutory Sick Pay Rebate Scheme will repay employers the Statutory Sick Pay paid to current or former employees. The online service you’ll use to claim back Statutory Sick Pay (SSP) is now available -

Who can use the scheme?

This scheme is for employers. You can claim back up to 2 weeks of Statutory Sick Pay if:

  • you have already paid your employee’s sick pay (use the Statutory Sick Pay calculator to work out how much to pay)
  • you’re claiming for an employee who’s eligible for sick pay due to coronavirus (COVID-19)
  • you have a PAYE payroll scheme that was created and started on or before 30 November 2021
  • you had fewer than 250 employees on 30 November 2021 across all your PAYE payroll schemes

The maximum number of employees you can claim for is the number you had across your PAYE schemes on 30 November 2021.

Employees do not have to give you a doctor’s fit note for you to make a claim.

If your employee is self-isolating and cannot work because of COVID-19, you can ask them to give you an isolation note from NHS 111.

The scheme covers all types of employment contracts, including:

  • full-time employees
  • part-time employees
  • employees on agency contracts
  • employees on flexible or zero-hour contracts
  • fixed term contracts (until the date their contract ends)

If you’re claiming for wage costs through the Coronavirus Job Retention Scheme, you can claim back from both the Coronavirus Job Retention Scheme and the Coronavirus Statutory Sick Pay Rebate Scheme for the same employee, but not for the same period of time.

What you can claim

The repayment will cover up to 2 weeks Statutory Sick Pay starting from the first qualifying day of sickness, if an employee is unable to work because they:

  • have COVID-19 symptoms
  • are self-isolating because someone they live with has symptoms
  • are self-isolating because they’ve been notified by the NHS or public health bodies that they’ve come into contact with someone with COVID-19
  • have been notified by the NHS to self-isolate before surgery for up to 14 days

You can make more than one claim per employee, but you cannot claim for more than 2 weeks in total.

You can claim from the first qualifying day your employee is off work if the period of sickness started on or after 21 December 2021 if your employee:

  • has COVID-19
  • has COVID-19 symptoms
  • was self-isolating because someone they live with has symptoms

If your employee’s absence started before 21 December 2021 you can only claim on or after 21 December 2021.

Most people are asked to self-isolate for 3 days before surgery. In this case, the day of surgery will be the 4th day of their period of incapacity for work. You cannot claim repayment of Statutory Sick Pay for the day of surgery or any other days when the absence is not due to COVID-19.

A ‘qualifying day’ is a day an employee usually works on. The weekly rate is £96.35. If you’re an employer who pays more than the weekly rate of Statutory Sick Pay, you can only claim up to the weekly rate paid.

Records you must keep

You must keep records of Statutory Sick Pay that you’ve paid and want to claim back from HMRC.

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’s a dispute over payment of Statutory Sick Pay.

You’ll need to print or save your state aid declaration (from your claim summary) and keep this until 31 December 2024.

How to claim

You must have paid your employees’ sick pay before you claim it back. You can claim back Statutory Sick Pay related to COVID-19 by using the online service.

If you use an agent who is authorised to do PAYE online for you, they will be able to claim on your behalf.

Employers who are unable to claim online should have received a letter on an alternative way to claim. Contact HMRC if you have not received a letter and are unable to make any eligible claims online.

If you have any questions or we can help you with any COVID-19 business support please get in touch. Email the team or call 01858 289 189. You can also refer to our Accounts page for more information about we can support your business.

Thanks for stopping by,

Charlotte & The Business Hut Team

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