Chancellor, Rishi Sunak has announced support for businesses who have been impacted by the Omicron variant with the reopening of the SSP rebate scheme (SSPRS).
It is a temporary scheme to support employers facing heightened levels of sickness absence due to COVID-19. The SSPRS will refund small and medium-sized employers’ COVID-related SSP costs for up to two weeks per employee.
Which employers qualify?
Employers will be eligible for the scheme if:
- They are UK-based.
- They employed fewer than 250 employees as of 30th
- They had a PAYE payroll system as of 30th November
- They have already paid their employees’ COVID-related
What can be claimed?
Employers will be able to claim the costs for up to two weeks of SSP per employee that has to take time off because of COVID-19.
The rules for SSP remain the same with a Period of Incapacity to Work (PIW) of 4 calendar days still required. For COVID related sickness, SSP continues to be required to be paid from the first working day.
What if the prior rebate scheme has been used?
This two-week limit will be reset so an employer will be able to claim up to two weeks per employee regardless of whether they have claimed under the previous scheme for that employee.
When can claims be made?
Employers will be able to make a claim through HMRC from mid-January 2022 onwards, using:
How long will the scheme run?
It is a temporary scheme to support employers facing heightened levels of sickness absence due to COVID-19. The government will keep the duration of the scheme under review.
Is record keeping required?
Employers must keep records of Statutory Sick Pay that they’ve paid and want to claim back from HMRC for 3 years after the date they receive the payment for their claim:
- the dates the employee was off sick
- which of those dates were qualifying days
- the reason they said they were off work due to COVID- 19
- the employee’s National Insurance number
Where can I find more information?
It is still early days and information is currently being developed and issued. The following links may be of assistance.