A recurring question we are being asked by employers is how to reclaim SSP for employees with Covid.
Employers with fewer than 250 employees will be able to claim up to two weeks’ SSP per employee for COVID-related sickness absences occurring from 21 December 2021
As an employer, you will be eligible for this support if you:
- are UK-based;
- employed fewer than 250 employees on 30 November 2021;
- had a PAYE scheme at 30 November 2021; and
- you have paid your employees’ COVID-related statutory sick pay (SSP)
The scheme will cover COVID-related sickness absences occurring from 21 December 2021. There are no details indicating when the scheme will end other than the government will keep the scheme under review. The portal to make the claim will open in Mid January.f you made a claim for an employee under the previous scheme, you will still be able to make a fresh claim for a new COVID-related absence for the same employee of up to two weeks.
As a reminder, you must keep records of SSP that you have paid and want to claim back from HMRC. The following records supporting the claim must be kept for three years after the date you receives the payment:
- the dates the employee was off sick;
- which of those dates were qualifying days (ie, the days that the employee would normally work);
- the reason they said they were off work due to COVID-19;
- the employee’s national insurance number.
Coronavirus-related SSP claims are not subject to the normal 3 day waiting time.
SSP Self-certification extended
Employees eligible to receive statutory sick pay are not normally required to provide you with medical evidence to support sickness absence for the first seven days of absence. For longer periods of absence, they must obtain medical evidence (a fit note) from their GP.
In order to free up GP capacity to focus on the government’s current priorities for the NHS of delivering the coronavirus booster programme and emergency care, employees will not be required to provide you with medical evidence of sickness absence for the first 28 days of absence. GPs will still be required to supply fit notes for periods of absence exceeding 28 days.
This change takes effect from 17 December but applies to absences beginning on or after 10 December 2021, up to and including absences that begin on or before 26 January 2022. The self-certification period will revert to seven days for absences beginning on or after 27 January 2022.
If you need any more help or advice on how to reclaim SSP for employees with Covid, get in contact with us on 01237 472071