Coronavirus SSP Rebate Scheme to close on 17 March 2022

The Statutory Sick Pay Rebate Scheme (SSPRS), a temporary scheme that was introduced to support small- and medium-sized employers facing Covid-19 sickness absence, is set to close on 17th March 2022.

The scheme was first introduced by the government in March 2020 to reimburse a percentage of Statutory Sick Pay payments to employers affected by the pandemic. It was later reinstated in December 2021 due to rising Covid-19 cases following the Omicron variant.

Employers now have until 24th March 2022 to submit any final claims or amend any claims that may have already been submitted covering the period of 21 December 2021 – 24 March 2022.

In a statement, the government said: “You have until 24‌‌‌ ‌March‌‌‌ ‌2022 to submit any new claims for absence periods up to 17‌‌‌ ‌March‌‌‌ ‌2022 or to amend claims you have already submitted. You will no longer be able to claim back SSP for your employees’ coronavirus-related absences or self-isolation that occur after‌‌‌ ‌17‌‌‌ ‌March‌‌‌ ‌2022.

From 25 March we will return to the normal SSP rules, which means you can revert to paying SSP from the fourth qualifying day your employee is off work regardless of the reason for their sickness absence.”

Employers are eligible for the scheme if they:

  • Are based in the UK
  • Employ fewer than 250 employees (as of 30 November 2021)
  • Had a PAYE payroll system (as of 30 November 2021)
  • Have already paid their employees’ COVID-related SSP.

The maximum claim per employee is two weeks at the statutory sick pay (SSP) rate of £96.35 per week (£192.70 in total), which is the rate for 2021/22 (£99.35 2022/23). The employer’s claim is also capped at the number of employees in its PAYE scheme on 30 November 2021.

Samantha Bennett, Accountant at Harvey Telford & Bates, said: “The Statutory Sick Pay Rebate Scheme (SSPRS) is designed to protect businesses with fewer than 250 employees from the impact of Covid-19 related absences. If you have been affected by Coronavirus-related sickness between 21st December 2021 and 24th March 2022, you may submit your claim online today.”