The government has reintroduced the Statutory Sick Pay Rebate Scheme (SSPRS). This is a temporary scheme to support employers facing heightened levels of sickness absence due to COVID-19. The SSPRS refunds small and medium-sized employers’ COVID-related SSP costs for up to two weeks per employee. To qualify for the scheme employers must have less than 250 employees.
Employers are eligible for the scheme if they are UK-based, employed fewer than 250 employees as of 30 November 2021, they had a PAYE payroll system as of 30 November 2021 and they have already paid their employees’ COVID-related SSP.
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. 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.
The scheme has been reintroduced so that employers can claim for COVID-related sickness absences occurring from 21 December 2021 onwards. Employers are able to make a claim through HMRC using this website:
Claim back Statutory Sick Pay paid to your employees due to coronavirus (COVID-19) - GOV.UK (www.gov.uk)
The government will keep the duration of the scheme under review.
Employers must keep records of Statutory Sick Pay that they have paid and want to claim back from HMRC. Employers must keep the following records 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
See: COVID-19 economic support package - GOV.UK (www.gov.uk)