If you have paid statutory sick pay (SSP) to employees who were unable to work because they had COVID-19 symptoms, or they self-isolated because someone in their household had such symptoms, you may be eligible to reclaim that SSP.
In order to reclaim the SSP, all of these conditions must be met:
- your PAYE scheme was registered with HMRC by close of business on 28 February 2020;
- on that date you had fewer than 250 employees registered across all of your PAYE schemes; •your business was not in difficulty on 31 December 2019; and
- you will not breach the state aid limits for your business sector by claiming the SSP refund.
The latter two conditions are due to the SSP refund being classified as state aid. The maximum amount of SSP-related state aid an individual business can receive is €800,000 although lower limits apply to the agriculture and fishing sectors.
Usually SSP is payable from the fourth day of an employee’s absence due to illness, however where the employee’s absence relates to COVID-19 symptoms SSP is payable from the first day the individual was unable to work. Only SSP relating to COVID-19 matters can be reclaimed by the employer and for a maximum of 14 days per employee, even if the individual is unable to work for a longer period.
A refund claim can cover any number of employees who received SSP over multiple pay periods but be sure to keep good records of which SSP payments you have included in a claim. The online portal to claim SSP refunds opened on 26 May and we can submit claims on your behalf.