Employment Alert – End of the COVID-19 SSP Rebate

13 Sep 2021

The government have announced that the Covid-19 SSP rebate scheme will end on 30 September.

What’s happening?

The government has announced the removal of the SSP rebate scheme.

Since March 2020, employers with fewer than 250 employees (as at 28 February 2020) have been able to claim back Statutory Sick Pay (SSP) paid to an employee if the sickness absence is for a reason related to COVID-19 (see our previous update here).

New regulations will bring the SSP rebate scheme to an end on 30 September 2021. Employers will be unable to claim back SSP for any employee sickness absences after this date.

Why is this important?

The SSP rebate scheme was designed to help employers who may have been struggling with increased staff absences – and associated SSP costs – arising from COVID-19.

The rebate scheme covered not only those employees who were absent with COVID-19, but also those who were required to self-isolate after coming into close contact with a positive COVID-19 case. Since 16 August 2021, people who are double-jabbed have not been required to self-isolate. This should reduce the number of staff absences, which may be why the government has chosen to remove the rebate scheme from the end of this month.

However, COVID-19 cases remain high, and may well increase over the winter. Employers could therefore continue to experience high numbers of COVID-19 related absences, which means that the removal of the rebate scheme could place an additional strain on employers’ finances.

What should you do?

  1. If your business qualifies for the SSP rebate scheme, you should ensure that this is claimed before the deadline. Remember that although the scheme closes for absences after 30 September 2021, employers will have until 31 December 2021 to submit any claims.
  2. Plan for and factor in the increased costs of employee absences following the removal of the rebate scheme.
  3. Don’t forget – the rebate scheme (and its removal) only applies to SSP, so contractual sick pay will be unaffected by these changes.

If you need more information please contact us on 0800 2800 421 or email Employment.Alert@trethowans.com to find out how we can help.

Author

Andrew Crudge

Associate