The government has decided to bring the Coronavirus Statutory Sick Pay Rebate Scheme (SSPRS) to an end on 30 September 2021. This means that, from 1 October 2021, small employers who are currently eligible under the Scheme will no longer be able to claim back statutory sick pay (SSP) for employees unable to work due to COVID-19. Instead, the employer will once more have to cover the full cost of SSP.
Prior to the COVID-19 pandemic, employers covered the full cost of up to 28 weeks’ SSP for their employees who met the relevant SSP criteria. The SSPRS was introduced by the government shortly after the start of the pandemic in the UK, to allow certain small to medium-sized enterprises to reclaim up to two weeks’ SSP from HMRC for employees under all types of employment contracts unable to work due to the fact that they were:
- experiencing COVID-19 symptoms;
- self-isolating because someone they live with had symptoms;
- self-isolating because they were in contact with someone with COVID-19;
- shielding after receiving a letter advising them to do so; or
- self-isolating before surgery for up to 14 days.
Employers must submit or amend all claims for periods of sickness prior to 1 October 2021 by 31 December 2021. They must:
- have already paid their employee’s sick pay;
- be claiming for an employee who is eligible for sick pay due to COVID-19;
- have a PAYE payroll scheme that was created and started on or before 28 February 2020; and
- have had fewer than 250 employees on 28 February 2020 across all their PAYE payroll schemes.