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The SSP scheme provides employees with a set weekly payment when they are absent from work due to sickness. SSP is payable for up to a maximum of 28 weeks however it is only payable after a period of four or more days off sick in a row.
The rate of SSP is changed by the Government in April each year and the current rate is £86.70 per week. PAYE and NIC will be deducted in the same way as normal earnings.
Employers may be able to recover some or all of the SSP that is paid, depending on the total amount of National Insurance Contributions they pay. This is known as the Percentage Threshold Scheme and it states that where the total amount of SSP paid in a tax month is more than 13% of an employer's gross national insurance contributions liability for the month, an employer can recover the excess. The scheme is designed to help employers who have a high proportion of their workforce off sick at the same time, rather than being based on the size of employer.
The period for recovery of SSP runs from the 6th of one month to the 5th of the next month and employers can use the SSP calculator which is available on the HMRC website to calculate how much they may be able to recover www.hmrc.gov.uk/paye/employees/statutory-pay/ssp-calc.htm
If an employer cannot afford to pay SSP upfront, they can also apply to HMRC for an advance payment no more than 4 weeks before the first statutory payment is due and this will be claimed back at a later date.
Pam Loch, Managing Partner of niche employment law practice, Loch Associates Employment Lawyers and Managing Director of HR Advise Me Limited.
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