The government’s scheme that enables small businesses to recoup statutory sick pay costs caused by COVID-19 closed at the end of September.
Legislation ending the Coronavirus Statutory Sick Pay Rebate Scheme (SSPRS) was laid before parliament on 9 September.
Before the COVID-19 pandemic, employers were obliged to pay Statutory Sick Pay (SSP) to eligible employees unable to work because of sickness. It is paid at a flat rate of £96.35 (at the current rate) for up to 28 weeks. The full cost of SSP is met by the employer.
To support employers during the pandemic, the government legislated to allow certain small and medium-size employers to reclaim some, or all, of their SSP costs from HMRC via the SSPRS.
Under the new regulations, employers will not be able to reclaim SSP from 30 September 2021 and any claims relating to periods prior to that date must have been filed by 31 December 2021.
The Institute of Chartered Accountants in England and Wales (ICAEW) said:
‘It would appear that the suspension of the requirement to wait for three days before SSP is paid has not yet been repealed. The three-day rule was suspended temporarily during the peak of the COVID-19 crisis to encourage people to stay at home as soon as they felt ill.’