Back in March 2020, HMRC launched a Statutory Sick Pay rebate scheme. In essence, employers were able to claim back up to two weeks’ worth of SSP payments made to employees for coronavirus-related reasons. The original scheme ended on 30th September 2021, while outstanding claims had to be made by 31st December 2021. However, because of heightened levels of sickness and absence due to the Omicron variant of COVID-19, the scheme is re-opening. In this post, we take a look at the new system covering COVID and Statutory Sick Pay.

When will the new SSP scheme start?

The new Coronavirus Statutory Sick Pay Rebate Scheme will be re-introduced from mid-January 2022. HMRC will publish further guidance soon.

Who can claim COVID SSP refunds? 

The scheme will be open to small and medium-sized employers. If eligible, you will be able to claim SSP costs for up to two weeks per employee. You’ll be allowed to claim for COVID-19 absences from 21st December 2021 onwards.

Which employers are eligible?

To be eligible for the scheme you must:

  • Be a UK-based employer
  • Have employed fewer than 250 people as of 30th November 2021
  • Have had a PAYE payroll on the same date
  • At the time of the claim, have already paid COVID-19 related SSP to your employee(s)

The two-week period will also be reset. This means that, if you paid two weeks’ worth of coronavirus-related SSP to an employee under the old rebate scheme, you can claim back a further two weeks’ worth under the new scheme.

Which employees are eligible?

This has yet to be confirmed. Under the previous scheme, the following employees were eligible.

  • People with COVID-19 symptoms
  • Those self-isolating because they live with someone with symptoms
  • Anyone self-isolating because they’ve been notified they’ve come into contact with someone who has coronavirus
  • Clinically vulnerable people who’ve been advised to shield
  • People who’ve been advised to self-isolate for up to 14 days before surgery.

However, our best guess is that it’s likely that the new criteria will rely more on LFT or PCR COVID-19 test results. We’ll update you when we know for certain.

What records do employers need to keep?

You’ll need to keep the following records in order to make a successful claim.

  • Dates employees were off sick
  • Which of those dates were qualifying ones
  • The COVID-19 related reason for being off sick
  • Each employees’ National Insurance number

You’ll need to keep these records for at least 3 years’ after receiving any rebate payment.

COVID and Statutory Sick Pay: how to claim

You will be able to make your claims via this webpage.

Need help?

As mentioned, we’ll update you on the new scheme when HMRC has published fresh guidance. We’ll be happy to advise THP clients on making claims after this point. In the meantime, if you have any questions about your THP payroll service, please do get in touch.

Avatar for Samantha Rowe
About Samantha Rowe

Sam’s title is Operations Manager, but the title itself doesn’t truly convey the variety of what she does for THP.  From administrative tasks to payroll, strategic business planning, and office systems and procedures, Sam’s primary skill lies in multitasking.

Sam’s journey began as an office junior with George Nottage (now merged with THP), and she soon learned skills in payroll and bookkeeping, and then gained experience as a PA to the Directors, and as Administration Manager.

At the moment, Auto Enrolment is an area that has a key focus for Sam, and for THP as a whole.  “The question I’m asked the most by clients just now is, ‘How will auto enrolment affect me?’ And the answer is, no matter how big or small you are, you will absolutely be affected by the Auto Enrolment regulations. I’d encourage you to start thinking about it now, and to look at your payroll software to make sure you’re ready.”

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