Employers will be reimbursed for any COVID-19 statutory sick pay (SSP) payments they have made since 13/03/20 from the 26/05/20 onwards.
The coronavirus statutory sick pay rebate scheme which was announced during the March budget will be eligible to businesses who have a pay-as-you-earn (PAYE) payroll scheme and have fewer than 250 employees.
Companies will be able to reclaim up to two weeks SSP paid to employees with COVID-19, SSP is £95.82 per week paid to current or former staff.
Therese Coffey, secretary of state at the Department for Work and Pensions, said:
We are committed to supporting Britain’s small and medium businesses through this pandemic with a comprehensive package of support.
This rebate will put money back in the pockets of millions of employers, ensuring they can hit the ground running as the economy re-opens.
Angela MacDonald, director general of customer services, at HMRC, said:
Our teams have worked hard to deliver this scheme for employers and their employees to ensure they get the support they need. We want employers to be secure in the knowledge they will receive help as they care for their staff during this difficult period.
Kate Palmer, associate director of advisory at Peninsula, said:
It is interesting that, unlike the furlough scheme, this assistance is only open to companies of a certain size, suggesting the Government is aware that meeting SSP costs is likely to be more difficult for smaller businesses. It remains to be seen if eligibility for reclaiming SSP will be broadened to include larger companies, and it is likely any decisions in this manner will come as we move through the crisis.
Richard Kenyon, an employment lawyer at Fieldfisher, said:
Provisions to enable employers with fewer than 250 employees to reclaim SSP paid in respect of Covid-19-related sickness absence, were heralded in the Coronavirus Act 2020 at the end of March 2020. These benefits have been eclipsed by the cash lifeline that is the Coronavirus Job Retention Scheme. However, they are a welcome introduction as part of a move back into work and maintaining a safe working environment.