In response to the Omicron COVID-19 variant and the difficulties faced by businesses as a result of increased employee absence, the Government’s Statutory Sick Pay Rebate Scheme (SSPRS) has been reintroduced.
Originally launched in Spring 2020, the SSPRS had come to a close as of October 2021 but following increased levels of COVID-19 sickness during recent weeks, the Government has reintroduced the scheme temporarily to support employers.
Who can claim?
Any absence from 21 December 2021 due to COVID-19 can be claimed for but the scheme only applies to small and medium sized businesses. Businesses are eligible if they:
- are UK-based
- employed fewer than 250 employees on 30 November 2021
- had a PAYE scheme at 30 November 2021
- have paid their employees’ COVID-related statutory sick pay (SSP)
How much can you claim under the SSPRS?
Employers can claim the for up to two weeks of SSP per employee that has been absent for COVID-19 illness. The current weekly rate of SSP is £96.35.
This new claim can be made, regardless of whether the employer had claimed under the previous scheme for that employee.
How to claim?
The claim system will be managed by HMRC as it has been before and for recent claims (21 December onward) the system will be open from mid-January.
Records of SSP paid to employees must be retained by employers and they must also retain the following records for three years from the date they receive the SSPRS payment:
- the dates the employee was off sick
- which of those dates were qualifying days
- the reason they said they were off work was due to COVID-19
- the employee’s National Insurance number
The scheme has only been reintroduced temporarily and there are currently no details to indicate when the scheme will close.
For Kingston Burrowes clients currently using our payroll service, we will be able to make the SSPRS claim on your behalf, but you will need to sign an additional LOE and we will need details of the COVID-19 related employee absence. We will contact payroll clients in due course regarding the service.