Coronavirus Statutory Sick Pay Rebate Scheme returns
Wednesday 26th January 2022
The Coronavirus Statutory Sick Pay Rebate Scheme was originally introduced in 2020 to help employers cope with COVID related staff absences. It allowed small and medium size businesses to claim back up to two weeks’ SSP for staff who were absent due to Coronavirus.
On 21 December 2021, Chancellor Rishi Sunak announced that the scheme would be reintroduced with immediate effect to allow eligible businesses to apply for a rebate of Coronavirus related SSP. It is hoped that the reintroduction of the scheme will help to alleviate the pressure of high levels of absence caused by the Omicron variant. Eligible businesses can now begin to claim their rebate.
Who can apply and what can they claim?
The Government published its full guidance on the returning scheme on 19 January 2022. It is similar to the original scheme which ran throughout 2020.
The scheme applies to small and medium business with under 250 employees. Only employers with fewer than 250 employees across all PAYE payroll schemes on 30 November 2021 will be eligible. Eligible employers are now able to apply to HMRC for a rebate of up to 2 weeks’ SSP per employee in the following circumstances:
- They have already paid the employee SSP;
- The employee’s period of incapacity for work began on or after 21st December 2021; and
- The employee’s period of incapacity for work was related to coronavirus.
An absence will be ‘related to Coronavirus’ where an employee was required to isolate and unable to work because:
- They had Coronavirus symptoms/had Coronavirus;
- Someone they live with had symptoms/had Coronavirus;
- They had been advised to isolate by the NHS or a public health body as they were a close contact of someone who had tested positive for Coronavirus;
- They had been advised by letter to shield due to very high risk of severe illness from COVID-19; or
- They had been advised by the NHS to isolate for up to 14 days before surgery.
The reintroduction of the rebate scheme is intended to help small and medium businesses hit by Coronavirus related absences which peaked at the end of 2021. Eligible businesses are encouraged to make use of the scheme.
If you have any questions on the rebate scheme, how it applies to your business or SSP in general, our employment team are happy to help.