Sick Pay Guide for Employers
For more information about SSP you can also visit the Department for Work & Pensions website at www.dwp.gov.uk
For more information about employment rights employees and employers can contact Acas, go to www.acas.org.uk or phone 08457 474 747.
Statutory Sick Pay calculator
The Statutory Sick Pay calculator is available on the HMRC website – go to www.hmrc.gov.uk/calcs/ssp.htm
The calculator will help employers work out if their employee is entitled to SSP and if so, provide a schedule of the weekly payments that employers should make.
It will also help you work out if employers are entitled to recover any of the SSP they have paid to all their employees in each tax month.
Employees and employers in Northern Ireland
Arrangements in Northern Ireland are basically the same as in Great Britain, but there are differences in detail.
- Northern Ireland has its own legislation covering SSP.
- The Incapacity Benefit Branch, Castle Court, Belfast deals with incapacity claims, their phone number is Belfast (028) 90 336000.
- Guidance on employment law is covered by the Labour Relations Agency. For more information, visit their website, at www.lra.org.uk
Visits to employers from HM Revenue & Customs
From time to time, our officers visit employers to see if their payroll is running smoothly. If we call on you we will ask to see your SSP and/or wage records, sick absences and other related documents. If you are an employer who has opted out of fully operating the SSP scheme, we will ask to see your wage records, occupational sick records, sick absence records and other related documents.
Legislation provides that employers failing or refusing to operate the SSP scheme correctly can incur penalties. Like those in place for PAYE or NICs these penalties are civil (not criminal).
The penalties cover the following offences:
- a refusal by you to allow access to your records or a failure to comply with a formal information notice both of which attract a maximum penalty of £300.00 and £60.00 for each day the failure continues
- a failure to keep records could make you liable to a penalty up to a maximum of £3,000.00
- should you provide incorrect information or documents, either fraudulently or negligently, in response to a formal information notice the penalty is up to a maximum of £3,000.00
- if you fraudulently or negligently produce incorrect records the penalty is up to a maximum of £3,000.00
- any failure by you to give your employee the required information or the provision of incorrect information to your employee, either fraudulently or negligently, could make you liable to a penalty up to a maximum of £3,000.00
- the refusal or repeated refusal or failure by you to pay SSP to your employee or the payment of an incorrect amount of SSP due to either fraud or negligence could make you liable to a penalty up to a maximum of £3,000.00
- obtaining, either fraudulently or negligently, incorrect funding could make you liable to a penalty up to a maximum of £3,000.00
- anyone who fraudulently or negligently makes an incorrect statement or declaration to establish entitlement to SSP could be liable to a penalty up to a maximum of £3,000.00.
Where it is considered that a penalty is appropriate it will be imposed by either an Officer of HMRC or the appeal Commissioners, but in all cases there is a right of appeal.
Any appeals against a penalty raised by an Officer of HMRC will be heard by the appeal Commissioners. Any appeal against a penalty determined by the Commissioners (on a question of law or against the amount) will be to the High Court, or in Scotland, to the Court of Session at the Court of the Exchequer in Scotland or in Northern Ireland the Court of Appeal (NI).
The outcome of any appeal could see the penalty upheld, varied or dismissed.