New COVID sick pay scheme to help employers facing staff absences

A new Statutory Sick Pay Rebate Scheme (SSPRS) has been launched by the UK Government to help small- to medium-sized employers that are experiencing increased staff absences due to coronavirus.

The original scheme began in March 2020 and ceased in September 2021; a business could claim for this period up until 31 December 2021. The new scheme began on 21 December 2021 and is a complete reset of the original scheme: if a business claimed for an employee’s Statutory Sick Pay (SSP) under the original scheme, it can still make a claim relating to that employee under the new scheme. There is currently no scheduled end date for SSPRS, instead, the scheme is under constant review.

It is important for employers to note that the rebate only applies where the sickness absence is due to coronavirus.

What businesses can claim?

Employers can claim if they:

  • Have fewer than 250 employees from 30 November 2021
  • Are a UK-based employer
  • Had a PAYE scheme in place at 30 November 2021, and
  • They have already paid their employees COVID related SSP

How much can be claimed?

From mid-January 2022, an employer can claim up to 2 weeks’ worth of statutory sick pay per employee (including waiting days), maximum £192.70 per employee.

If you have any questions regarding the SSPRS please contact a member of the payroll team at