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Why does SSP have to be recorded?

If contractual sick pay exceeds SSP what purpose do SSP records serve? why are they required?

Didn't find your answer?

I'm just having a whinge really

I've just sat through an HMRC webinar about SSP updates.  I asked the following question:

Q: Years ago you could claim some SSP back.  Now you cannot.  So why do you still require SSP pay and dates to be recorded? what are they used for?

 

and the answer I got back

A: i imagine its primarily for audit and cimpliance [sic] purposes. As statuory payments are statutory requirements i imagine non compliance would have potential consequences and occasionally this compliance may be audited.

 

Doesn't sound a very convincing answer!

I find it it very annoying to records SSP with clients that have lots of working patterns and often with high absence rates - but where they pay contractual pay in excess of SSP, the SSP is totally irrelevant.....apart from the "statutory requirements"

To say you have to do something because of statutory requirements without saying what purpose those requirements exist for - is not an answer!

So does anyone have any further insights into why the records are required?

Or is it just another example of bureaucracy for the sake of it

 

 

Replies (12)

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By Paul Crowley
25th Nov 2021 11:10

If my staff are of sick, they get their normal pay as usual
No need to make life difficult

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Replying to Paul Crowley:
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By hairyfingers
25th Nov 2021 11:45

thanks for your reply. So if they are on full pay sick you don't record SSP dates and amounts, then do a contra deduction for SSP calculated. You just pay the full wage and move on. If so that would be the dream to not have to mess about with SSP dates (as long as Contractual sick pay exceeds SSP of course)

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By Wanderer
25th Nov 2021 11:14

Like with most HMRC webinars there's often a bit of 'winging it' going on with the advice given:-
You no longer need to keep records of sickness:-
https://www.gov.uk/hmrc-internal-manuals/statutory-payments-manual/spm21...

You do however have to have the ability to prove that SSP has been paid:-
https://www.legislation.gov.uk/uksi/1982/894/regulation/13A

SO if your contractual Sick Pay exceeds SSP then I'm struggling to find any requirement.

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Replying to Wanderer:
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By hairyfingers
25th Nov 2021 11:42

But how can you prove that SSP has been paid 'in accordance with these regulations' unless you record all the qualifying days, PIW's etc. Or are you saying that if contractual pay is in excess of the SSP regulations then by definition the amount paid must have been at least as good as the SSP regulations and so that's the proof.

Still - the question remains why do you have to prove SSP has been paid. You should be able to make a statement 'contractual pay is better than SSP so I don't need to pay SSP' and be done with it.

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Replying to hairyfingers:
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By Wanderer
25th Nov 2021 12:29

I think it's just bad amendments to the legislation.
It's stupid to have a regulation that requires you "satisfy him that statutory sick pay has been paid" when you aren't paying SSP and they have removed the requirement to keep records of sickness.
Anyways 13A doesn't require these to be kept contemporaneously so you could just produce a list of the contractual sick pay days paid for & the amounts paid.
I have never known (since non recovery of SSP) for HMRC to raise this point. It would probably only arise if an employee complains that they haven't been paid, at least, SSP rates.

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By tom123
25th Nov 2021 11:56

Plus also, (in my case from Sage payroll, but others may be similar) if you record on the calendar the SSP, you then need to adjust the usual gross so that the employee does not get both the SSP and the full gross.

Having said that, I do like to record absence days, because we don't pay full salary indefinitely.

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By kestrepo
25th Nov 2021 14:15

Aside from the need to keep financial records I thought that keeping SSP and other sickness related information formed part of your duty of care as an employer.

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Stepurhan
By stepurhan
25th Nov 2021 14:37

If you don't record it, and an employee is sick for more than 28 weeks, how do you fill out SSP1 to show they are no longer eligible because they have received the maximum amount possible?

Technically you couldn't because, according to your records, you haven't been paying SSP at all. Indeed, your employee may be unable to claim long-term sickness benefits because of the lack of an SSP record and valid SSP1.

Remote possibilities? Maybe, but do you really want to take the chance?

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Replying to stepurhan:
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By hairyfingers
25th Nov 2021 18:54

That's an interesting point. Perhaps the DWP may check that SSP has been paid via HMRC RTI records - they may see SSP as zero and therefore reject a long term sick claim.

So a compromise then - this would only be a possibility at the end of 28 weeks sick. Could it be said then that at that point you would record 28 weeks SSP retrospectively in that one pay period? Using the absence records the dates would be correct. And so the SSP would be correct cumulatively, the SSP1 can be completed - and I've only had to record SSP once and it's very rare someone gets to 28 weeks so this would be no problem. Then for every other month I could ignore SSP recording. The client does keep good absence records in a separate HR system so I could easily track if someone is approaching 28 weeks.

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Replying to hairyfingers:
RLI
By lionofludesch
26th Nov 2021 06:53

hairyfingers wrote:

That's an interesting point. Perhaps the DWP may check that SSP has been paid via HMRC RTI records - they may see SSP as zero and therefore reject a long term sick claim.

So a compromise then - this would only be a possibility at the end of 28 weeks sick. Could it be said then that at that point you would record 28 weeks SSP retrospectively in that one pay period? Using the absence records the dates would be correct. And so the SSP would be correct cumulatively, the SSP1 can be completed - and I've only had to record SSP once and it's very rare someone gets to 28 weeks so this would be no problem. Then for every other month I could ignore SSP recording. The client does keep good absence records in a separate HR system so I could easily track if someone is approaching 28 weeks.

I'd rather record it as it happened than buy separate HR software and go through that rigmarole.

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Replying to hairyfingers:
Stepurhan
By stepurhan
26th Nov 2021 08:33

hairyfingers wrote:
Could it be said then that at that point you would record 28 weeks SSP retrospectively in that one pay period?

How?

An employee cannot, by definition, be sick for 28 weeks in a single week/month. Even if you could somehow resolve that dilemma, an employee would have to have gross salary of £2,697.80 minimum to cover 28 weeks SSP. That's over £32k salary for monthly and over £140k for weekly.

Or are you saying that you would send 28 weeks of amended RTI reports? Seems like a good way to get a PAYE enquiry to me.

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Replying to stepurhan:
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By hairyfingers
26th Nov 2021 09:15

I'm not saying I would do anything I'm just musing.

However I'm only talking about situations where contractual pay exceeds ssp. So the pay wouldn't change. The ssp, whatever the amount, would be contra'd off. There's no recovery from HMRC, cumulatively the ssp would be correct and the records would be correct.

I've certainly had situations where a ceo of a client didn't complete their hr system absence records for 3 months and ssp is just carried forwards to the current period. Also the RTI is all cumulative in any case so it's a maximum a 2 RTI over 2 tax years.

Anyhow, onwards

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