Advice surrounding the new version of the SSP1 form

02 March 2020

The Department for Work and Pensions (DWP) recently published a new version of the SSP1 form, and some amendments had been made that were surprising to payroll professionals.

One of the unexpected changes related to the fact that there now seemed to be a requirement for SSP1 forms to be completed and distributed in circumstances where employees had less than four days of absence relating to sickness. SSP is not payable to employees before the fourth consecutive day of sickness-related absence, and the first three days are classed as waiting days. The reason ‘you have been off sick from work for less than 4 days’ was not present in part C of the previous SSP1 form but was included on the new version. This addition was worrying for payroll professionals, due to the massive administrative burden for payroll departments if SSP1 forms had to be produced every time an employee was off sick for a period lasting between one and three days.

DWP has confirmed that it will be redrafting the SSP1 form, which will be published in due course. In the interim, employers can continue to use the previous form if the new version does not meet their needs. Alternatively, they can amend the new form, either manually or digitally, to reflect the reason as to why SSP cannot be paid, should the new form not provide the option and it was included on the previous form.

HMRC has also confirmed that there is no requirement to complete an SSP1 form for employees who have had between one- and three-days absence, as it serves no purpose and will only result in additional, unnecessary work for payroll departments.


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