Publication - Advice and guidance

Coronavirus (COVID-19): guidance for employers on one-off £400 payment for teachers

Published: 22 Jun 2021

Guidance for employers on the one-off exceptional £400 payment for teachers. Those eligible are teachers who are supporting the delivery of the Alternative Certification Model for National 5, Higher and Advanced Higher qualifications in 2020/2021.

Coronavirus (COVID-19): guidance for employers on one-off £400 payment for teachers
Applications and payment

Applications and payment

Education authority schools, independent schools and grant-aided schools should complete the form provided for eligible teachers.  

A single form should be completed:

  • by each local authority for each of their schools 
  • by managers of grant-aided schools
  • by proprietors of independent schools for the schools that they operate 

This will be paid through a grant arrangement to education authorities and directly from the Scottish Government through a grant to independent and grant-aided schools. Employer National Insurance contributions (NICs) on the payment will be paid.  

The vast majority of this work will be completed before the end of the school year. Provisional grades for learners must be determined by 25 June 2021.  


Once the form has been approved by the Scottish Government, a payment will be made to the relevant employer to so they can make payment to staff following completion of the ACM work. 

Payments should be made to staff through normal payroll to ensure income tax and national insurance are correct and to make sure the DWP or Social Security Scotland is notified.   

The employer should make sure that it is satisfied that the claims being made by its employees are true and in line with its governance arrangements for establishing the veracity of such claims. This may mean asking the employee to provide evidence to support audits and other checks.  

If staff members are receiving benefits

Staff who have concerns about the potential impact of the payment on their benefits are advised to seek advice.   

Employers are encouraged to work with these staff to consider options, for example taking the payment in instalments up to 3 months, in order to minimise the impact on benefits.  

We may ask you for the total numbers who have told you of concerns will discuss with you potential alternative approaches to the payment.

Payment calculations 

The payment is capped at £400 per person.

The payment will be based on average contracted hours and reflect the degree to which the employee’s individual work has supported the delivery of the ACM. This will require a judgement on the part of the headteacher. The notes set out above under ‘Definitions’ may help.

Tax and benefits

These payments made to staff are regarded as earnings and will be liable for tax, national insurance contributions, student loan repayments, and tax credits, where appropriate.

The payment is considered as “non-consolidated”. Therefore it is not pensionable and does not create a new baseline for future pay calculations.  

13.8% will be added to each payment for employer national insurance contributions. 

Anyone in receipt of benefits should seek advice. Important information for staff in receipt of benefits is provided in the standard form of words for communication to staff in section 15.

Evidence required

The form provided will ask you for all the information that is required to be submitted in order to receive payment. 

However we may request more information or supporting evidence before or after a claim is paid in order to validate the payment if we feel it is necessary.  

Recovery of payment due to fraud or error

We may change, withhold or require immediate repayment or any part of it the payment if fraud is detected or if there is an error.   

The Scottish Government and employers must make all reasonable effort to ensure that all eligible staff receive the payment as quickly as possible, subject to returns being received timeously. Those completing the claim form should ensure that all the information they provide is true and accurate and this should be checked by the employer.