If you’ve paid sick pay to employees as a result of coronavirus-related absence, you’re likely to be eligible for a rebate from the government under the Coronavirus Statutory Sick Pay Rebate Scheme. Here’s all the information you’ll need to have to hand in order to make a claim.
1. The number of employees you’re claiming for
HMRC requires you to provide the number of employees that your claim covers. The employees you’re claiming for in each submission must have already received the coronavirus-related Statutory Sick Pay (SSP). If you haven’t paid an employee their sick pay entitlement yet, you’ll have to submit a separate claim once you have done so.
If you’re unsure about the eligibility of some of the employees who you want to claim for, check the ‘coronavirus eligibility’ section of HMRC’s guide to SSP for employers.
2. The start and end dates of the claim period for each employee
The claim period for each employee should start on either the first day of the earliest pay period in which their absence took place or the designated date for that employee’s reason for absence, whichever date is later. The designated dates are as follows:
- 13th March 2020 if the employee had symptoms of coronavirus or was self-isolating and couldn’t work because someone they live with had symptoms of coronavirus.
- 16th April 2020 if the employee was shielding after receiving a letter from the NHS or a GP telling them to stay at home for 12 weeks.
- 28th May 2020 if the employee was notified by the NHS or public health bodies that they had come into contact with someone with coronavirus and had to self-isolate as a result.
This means that if your employee is paid per calendar month and began a period of absence on 4th April because they had symptoms of coronavirus, the first day of the claim period would be 1st April. However, if the same employee began a period of absence on 4th April because they had started shielding after receiving a letter from the NHS, the first day of the claim period would be 16th April.
The claim period should end on the end date of the most recent pay period that you’re claiming for.
3. The amount of coronavirus-related SSP you’ve paid to your employees
When you make a claim, you'll need to submit a record of the amount of coronavirus-related SSP you’ve paid to your employees and how much you want to claim back. Regardless of what you paid, you can only claim back SSP at the weekly rate of £94.25 for absences that took place before 6th April 2020 and £93.85 for absences that took place after that date.
4. Your Government Gateway ID login details
To submit your claim on HMRC’s website you’ll need to sign in to your Government Gateway account using the Government Gateway user ID and password you received when you registered for PAYE online. If you’re having trouble signing in, check this guide on retrieving your HMRC account information.
5. Your employer PAYE reference number
You’ll need to include your employer PAYE reference number - also known as an employer number or ERN - in any claims you make through the Coronavirus Job Retention Scheme. You can find this number in your FreeAgent account by selecting ‘Settings’ and then clicking on ‘Company Details’.
Your employer PAYE reference number is printed on any payslip, P45, P60 or P11D that you have issued to past or present employees and on any correspondence from HMRC about PAYE. You can also find the number in the booklet you received in your welcome pack from HMRC when you first registered as an employer.
6. Your bank account details
This is the bank account that HMRC will transfer the money into if your claim is successful. The bank account you use must be UK-based and able to receive a Bacs payment. Once HMRC has verified your claim, you’ll receive the money in your bank account within six working days.
7. Your contact details
HMRC asks claimants to provide “the contact details of someone we can contact if we have queries” regarding the claim. This means that you will need to have either your phone number or the number of a nominated contact to hand.
Submitting your claim
You can make a claim through the Coronavirus Statutory Sick Pay Rebate Scheme by using HMRC’s online service. Unlike making a claim through the Coronavirus Job Retention Scheme, if you use an accountant or bookkeeper who is authorised to submit PAYE online for you, they’ll be able to claim on your behalf.
Disclaimer: The content included in this blog post is based on our understanding of tax law at the time of publication. It may be subject to change and may not be applicable to your circumstances, so should not be relied upon. You are responsible for complying with tax law and should seek independent advice if you require further information about the content included in this blog post. If you don't have an accountant, take a look at our directory to find a FreeAgent Practice Partner based in your local area.