Earlier this week, Boris Johnson revealed details of the Government’s ‘Living with COVID-19 Plan’.
As part of this plan it will include the closure of the SPP Rebate Scheme which currently allows small and medium-sized employers to recover up to two weeks Statutory Sick Pay (SSP) for each employee who is off work due to COVID-19 and is unable to work. An employee may be unable to work because they have COVID-19 symptoms, are self-isolating because someone they live with has symptoms, are self-isolating because they have been notified by the NHS or public health bodies that they have come into contact with someone with COVID-19 or, have been notified by the NHS to self-isolate before surgery for up to 14 days.
The Scheme is due to close on 17th March 2021.
What does this mean for employers?
Employers will no longer be able to claim back SSP for their employees’ Coronavirus-related absences or self-isolation that occurs after 17 March 2022. They will have until 24 March 2022 to submit any new claims for absence periods up to 17 March 2022 or to amend claims that they have already submitted.
Thereafter, pre-pandemic SSP arrangements will apply with SSP no longer being payable from the first day of sickness for COVID-19 related absences. Employers should instead revert to paying SSP from the fourth qualifying day their employee is off work, irrespective of the reason for their sickness absence.