The government scheme enabling small businesses to recoup statutory sick pay costs due to coronavirus will end at the end of the month, and any outstanding claims must be made by 31 December 2021.
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.
It would appear that the suspension of the requirement to wait for three days before SSP is paid has not yet been repealed.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.
This effect is that SMEs must continue to pay SSP from the first day an employee is unable to work, making SSP more expensive than it was before the pandemic. The Tax Faculty awaits clarification on this point.
- Regulations ending SSPRS:
The Statutory Sick Pay (Coronavirus) (Funding of Employers’ Liabilities) (Closure) Regulations and the Statutory Sick Pay (Coronavirus) (Funding of Employers’ Liabilities) (Northern Ireland) (Closure) Regulations 2021)
- Legislation enacting the SSPRS:
The Statutory Sick Pay (Coronavirus) (Funding of Employers’ Liabilities) Regulations 2020
The Statutory Sick Pay (Coronavirus) (Funding of Employers’ Liabilities) (Northern Ireland) Regulations 2020
ICAEW Know-How from the Tax Faculty
This guidance is created by the Tax Faculty, recognised internationally as a leading authority and source of expertise on taxation. The Faculty is the voice of tax for ICAEW, responsible for all submissions to the tax authorities. Join the Faculty for expert guidance and support enabling you to provide the best advice on tax to your clients or business.