Introduction: dealing with questions about statutory payments
Operational responsibility for dealing with all questions and disputes about SP lies with HMRC.
You should use the telephone whenever possible to deal with questions raised about SP. Give advice on how to interpret the rules, legislation and point out helpful information.
Do not tell employers what decision to make.
HMRC is only expected to answer very basic queries about maternity, adoption, paternity and additional paternity leave. HMRC staff are not expected to become experts in this field. Disputes between an employee and employer on matters of entitlement to leave, unfair dismissal or any other employment issue should be referred to Advisory, Conciliation and Arbitration Service (Acas) or Labour Relations Agency (LRA). See SPM100800.
Enquiries from Employers
Employers wanting advice on how to administer a SP scheme or with a query about a particular circumstance will usually refer to GOV.UK or contact the Employers Helpline at East Kilbride (phone 0300 200 3200)
Any compliance issues should be passed to the appropriate compliance area for action. The Employer Compliance Officer (ECO) should deal with any queries raised at a payroll review.
Requests for medical advice or to arrange for an employee to be referred to Medical Services for an examination are dealt with by the SP Disputes Team, see SPM100700.
Enquiries by Employees
Employees normally contact HMRC for help or advice because they are in dispute with their employer, who is not paying them SSP.
General Enquiry Information
Although all initial or general enquiries are dealt with by the HMRC Enquiry Centre (phone 0300 200 3500) or by an ECO, the following should be referred to HM Revenue and Customs, NIC&EO, Statutory Payments Dispute Team, BX9 1AN:
- an employer wishes to get independent medical advice from Medical Services
- an employee wants to apply for a formal decision
- an employer defaults or becomes insolvent
- a dispute between employer and employee about SSP entitlement cannot be settled by giving the employee/employer general information
Cases are also referred to the SP Disputes Team by the decision maker at a Jobcentre Plus/Jobs and Benefits (in Northern Ireland) office on behalf of the Secretary of State for Work and Pensions. This happens if an employee has been told by their employer that they are not entitled to SSP and has claimed Employment and Support Allowance (ESA), but the decision maker thinks that there may be entitlement to SSP.