Employment and Support Allowance – Employer procedures when entitlement to SSP endsMonday, March 30th, 2009
If an employee is not entitled to SSP or entitlement to SSP runs out, employers are required to complete the relevant sections of form SSP1, which includes an indication of the reason why SSP cannot be paid or can no longer be paid, and issue it to the employee. The employee may be entitled to Employment and Support Allowance (ESA) instead.
The E16 Employer Helpbook for Statutory Sick Pay for 2009/10, on page 13, provides new guidance on what employers should do if an employee is not entitled to SSP for a reason that is not included on form SSP1. Examples of such reasons are:
- the employee has not informed the employer of the sickness within the period defined in the employer’s rules, or within seven days, and the employer considers that there was no good cause for the delay
- the employee has failed to provide acceptable medical evidence
- the employee refuses to cooperate in seeking further medical evidence
- the employer has evidence that the employee is fit for work.
In any of these situations, HMRC provides the text of a sample letter that an employer may use to inform the employee of the decision not to pay SSP. However, the letter may not be used as a substitute for form SSP1 where that form provides the relevant reason for non-payment.
Dear [name of employee]
I am writing to tell you why I cannot pay you Statutory Sick Pay (SSP) for the period from……….to……….[insert dates].
You cannot get SSP for these days because…………[insert the relevant reason here].
If you have any questions about why I am not paying you SSP please contact me.
If you do not agree with my decision not to pay you SSP, you can ask HMRC to make a formal decision. You should contact the National Insurance Helpline, telephone number 0845 302 1479.
Form SSP1 provides instructions on how an employee should go about claiming ESA. However, there is no requirement for employers to give employees any instructions on the procedures for claiming ESA and that includes situations where the above letter has to be used instead of form SSP1. Use of the letter does not prevent an employee from making a claim for ESA; it is up to the employee to establish entitlement to ESA.
The UK Payroll News is sponsored by HRD & Payroll Solutions