***Key update 19th May 2020***

Coronavirus Statutory Sick Pay Rebate Scheme set to launch from 26th May 2020

Support for businesses who are paying sick pay to employees

Legislation is being brought forward to allow small-and medium-sized businesses and employers to reclaim Statutory Sick Pay (SSP) paid for sickness absence due to COVID-19. The eligibility criteria for the scheme will be as follows:

  • Employers with fewer than 250 employees will be eligible - the size of an employer will be determined by the number of people they employed as of 28 February 2020.
  • This refund will cover up to 2 weeks’ SSP for periods of sickness starting on or after 13 March 2020. Eligible employees are those who have been unable to work because they have coronavirus or they are self-isolating at home
  • Employers will be able to reclaim expenditure for any employee who has claimed SSP (according to the new eligibility criteria) as a result of COVID-19. The repayment will be the current rate of SSP paid to current or former employees and so if you’re an employer who pays more than the current rate of SSP you can only claim the current rate amount.
  • Employers should maintain records of staff absences and payments of SSP, but employees will not need to provide a GP fit note. If evidence is required by an employer, those with symptoms of coronavirus can get an isolation note from NHS 111 online and those who live with someone that has symptoms can get a note from the NHS website.
  • Eligible period for the scheme will commence the day after the regulations on the extension of SSP to those staying at home comes into force
  • The government will work with employers over the coming months to set up the repayment mechanism for employers as soon as possible


Records you must keep

You must keep records of all the statutory sick payments that you want to claim from HMRC, including:

  • the reason why an employee could not work
  • details of each period when an employee could not work, including start and end dates
  • details of the SSP qualifying days when an employee could not work
  • National Insurance numbers of all employees who you have paid SSP to

You’ll have to keep these records for at least 3 years following your claim.



You are eligible for the scheme if:

  • Your business is UK based.
  • Your business is a small or medium-sized and employs fewer than 250 employees as of 28 February 2020.


How to access the scheme

The online service used to reclaim SSP is not available yet. HMRC will announce when the service is available and this guidance will be updated.


[Updated 15:42 on Tuesday 19 April 2020]