The second phase of the Coronavirus Statutory Sick Pay (SSP) Rebate Scheme has been available since 21 December 2021 and is open to employers with fewer than 250 employees to reclaim Statutory Sick Pay paid to an employee for Coronavirus-related absences.
However, it is important to note that by claiming the SSP rebate for just one employee involved in an R&D project who has been absent due to Covid, the project they are working on may no longer be eligible for SME R&D tax relief.
This is because both the SSP Rebate Scheme and the R&D tax credit scheme are classified as ‘notified state aid’, and a company is only permitted to claim one form of such aid for any project which is carried out. Therefore, once the SSP rebate has been claimed through the online system, you have officially received state aid and an SME R&D claim is no longer possible (even if the SSP rebate is repaid).
There is the possibility to claim tax relief under the RDEC scheme, but the benefit is about one third of the value of the SME scheme.
Businesses who have R&D projects underway should ensure that their HR and payroll teams check very carefully who they claim SSP rebates for to ensure R&D tax reliefs aren’t jeopardised.
The Statutory Sick Pay Rebate Scheme closes for Coronavirus-related absences after 17 March 2022 and claims need to be made by 24 March 2022.
If your business is involved in R&D and you are unsure whether you should submit a claim for an SSP rebate, we can help you ensure any R&D tax reliefs aren’t jeopardised. Get in touch to discuss your situation in more detail by contacting your usual PM+M adviser or emailing email@example.com.