UPDATE on the Covid-19 Support Measures

UPDATE on the Covid-19 Support Measures that were introduced yesterday (21st December 2021) by Rishi Sunak to help support businesses with the increasing number of Covid-19 cases and the Omicron variant. 

22nd Dec 22

1. Statutory Sick Pay (SSP) Rebate Scheme: This scheme previously ended on 30th September 2021 however has now been re-introduced from 21st December 2021. This allows all business with under 250 employees to reclaim SSP for Covid-related sicknesses for up to 2 weeks per employee. 

How to claim – 

Your PAYE providers will be able to claim the SSP back for you, or you can use the gov.uk online services: https://www.gov.uk/guidance/claim-back-statutory-sick-pay-paid-to-your-employees-due-to-coronavirus-covid-19

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Description automatically generatedClaim back Statutory Sick Pay paid to your employees due to coronavirus (COVID-19) – GOV.UK Image showing an employer claiming SSP for 3 employees over 2 pay periods. The claim starts on the first day of the first pay period, and ends on the last day of the second pay period. www.gov.uk

You must keep records of the SSP that you have paid with the following information: 

  • the dates the employee was off sick
  • which of those dates were qualifying days
  • the reason they said they were off work – if they had symptoms, someone they lived with had symptoms or they were shielding
  • the employee’s National Insurance number

SSP must be paid before reclaiming the amount back. 

2. Temporary Changes to ‘Fit Notes’ : For Statutory Sick Pay (SSP), where employees go off sick on or after 10th December 2021, employers can only ask employees for proof of sickness (such as a fit note) after 28 days of sickness ( this includes non-working days). Proof of sickness cannot be requested earlier than 28 days. This is a temporary change and applies for any absences from 10th December 2021 up until (and including) 26th January 2022. The usual 7-day rule will come back into effect for absences which start from 27th January 2022 onwards.

The purpose of this change is to allow GP’s more time to work on the Covid-19 booster vaccination programme. 

3. Updates to the Covid-19 Self-Isolation Rules: It has been announced that people who test positive (or have recently tested positive) for Covid-19 can now stop self-isolating up to 3 days earlier (7 days) as long a​s they can produce 2 negative lateral flow results on days 6 and 7. 

This guidance applies to everyone, regardless of vaccination status. However, those who are un-vaccinated must still isolate for 10 days if they have come into contact with a positive case. 

If you have any questions on the above information, please don’t hesitate to get in contact! 

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