Over the last couple of years, for obvious reasons, we have seen various temporary changes to the Statutory Sick Pay regime. So given the recent changes to the government’s approach to COVID-19, what does this mean for SSP?
Back to normal?
Currently, smaller and medium-sized employers (those with fewer than 250 employees) are able to claim back the cost of statutory sick pay paid to people who are off sick because of COVID-19. However, the government has now announced that the so-called Statutory Sick Pay Rebate Scheme will close on 17 March 2022. No further rebates can be claimed for absences occurring after this date. What’s more, employers will need to ensure that any claims (or amended claims) for earlier periods of time are submitted by no later than 24 March 2022.
From 25 March 2022, other SSP rules will also return to normal; in particular, those absent as a result of COVID-19 will once again be subject to the usual 3 ‘waiting days’ before they will qualify for SSP.
The last word?
As things stand, from an SSP point of view, it looks like we will revert to ‘business as usual’ from the end of March. However, interestingly, the Trades Union Congress and the Federation of Small Businesses are jointly calling on the government to change tack and make these temporary COVID measures permanent. Surely, it’s too late for the government to change its mind? Let’s wait and see.