Guidance

Check if you can claim back Statutory Sick Pay paid to employees due to coronavirus (COVID-19)

If you're an employer, find out if you can use the Coronavirus Statutory Sick Pay Rebate Scheme to reclaim employees' coronavirus-related Statutory Sick Pay (SSP).

The online service you’ll use to reclaim Statutory Sick Pay (SSP) will be available from 26 May 2020.

The Coronavirus Statutory Sick Pay Rebate Scheme will repay employers the SSP paid to current or former employees.

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

  • have coronavirus (COVID-19) symptoms
  • cannot work because they are self-isolating because someone they live with has symptoms
  • are shielding and have a letter from the NHS or a GP telling them to stay at home for at least 12 weeks

You can claim for periods of sickness starting on or after:

  • 13 March 2020 - if your employee had coronavirus or the symptoms or is self-isolating because someone they live with has symptoms
  • 16 April 2020 - if your employee was shielding because of coronavirus

The weekly rate was £94.25 before 6 April 2020 and is now £95.85. If you’re an employer who pays more than the weekly rate of SSP you can only claim up to the weekly rate paid.

Use the SSP calculator to work out the actual amount.

Employees do not have to give you a doctor’s fit note for you to make a claim. But you can ask them to give you either:

  • an isolation note from NHS 111 - if they are self-isolating and cannot work because of coronavirus
  • the NHS or GP letter telling them to stay at home for at least 12 weeks because they’re at high risk of severe illness from coronavirus

Who can use the scheme

You can use the scheme as an employer if:

  • you’re claiming for an employee who’s eligible for sick pay due to coronavirus
  • you have a PAYE payroll scheme that was created and started on or before 28 February 2020
  • you had fewer than 250 employees on 28 February 2020

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 for that employee.

Your claim amount should not take you above the state aid limits under the EU Commission temporary framework. This is when combined with other aid received under the framework. The maximum level of state aid that a business may receive is €800,000. There is a lower maximum for agriculture at €100,000 and aquaculture and fisheries at €120,000.

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)

We will let you know when the scheme will end.

Connected companies and charities

Connected companies and charities can also use the scheme if their total combined number of PAYE employees was fewer than 250 on the 28 February 2020.

Get ready to claim

The online service you’ll use to reclaim Statutory Sick Pay (SSP) will be available from 26 May 2020.

To use the online service you will need the Government Gateway user ID you got when you registered for PAYE Online. If you did not register online you will need to enrol for the PAYE Online service.

Find your lost Government Gateway user ID if you do not have it.

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

If you’re unable to claim online an alternative way to claim will be available. We will update this page with more information soon.

What you’ll need

You’ll need:

  • your employer PAYE scheme reference number
  • contact name and phone number of someone we can contact if we have queries
  • UK bank or building society details (only provide bank account details where a Bacs payment can be accepted)
  • the total amount of coronavirus SSP you have paid to your employees for the claim period - this should not exceed the weekly rate that is set
  • the number of employees you are claiming for
  • the start date and end date of the claim period

You can claim for multiple pay periods and employees at the same time. The start date of your claim is the start date of the earliest pay period you’re claiming for. The end date of your claim is the end date of the most recent pay period you’re claiming.

Records you must keep

You must keep records of SSP 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 SSP.

Other help you can get

We are receiving very high numbers of calls. Contacting HMRC unnecessarily puts our essential public services at risk during these challenging times.

Get help online

Use HMRC’s digital assistant to find more information about the coronavirus support schemes.

Published 3 April 2020
Last updated 19 May 2020 + show all updates
  1. The online service you’ll use to reclaim Statutory Sick Pay (SSP) will be available from 26 May 2020.

  2. Added guidance on getting ready to claim and what you'll need to make a claim.

  3. We have added a Welsh translation.

  4. We have added information relating to the EU Commission temporary framework. Claim amounts should not be above the maximum €800,000 of state aid under this framework.

  5. We have added a Welsh translation.

  6. Updated with information about using the Coronavirus Statutory Sick Pay Rebate Scheme to reclaim employees' Statutory Sick Pay if they are shielding and protecting people who are clinically extremely vulnerable to coronavirus (COVID-19).

  7. First published.