The Government will offer small and medium-sized employers across the UK rebates for statutory sick pay (SSP to help them cope with reduced trade and employee absences, as COVID-19 cases grow past 100,000 a day.
The SSP rebate scheme ended on 30 September 2021, but HMRC has updated its guidance to say the scheme will be reintroduced from mid-January 2022.
Under the scheme, employers with 250 or less employees will be able to claim back up to two weeks of SSP for employees on all types of contracts if they have already paid their sick pay because they are isolating due to COVID-19.
It forms part of an extra £1 billion in support for hospitality and leisure businesses, and a £100 million boost to the additional restrictions grant, which the Government announced on 21 December 2021.
Mike Brewer, chief economist at the Resolution Foundation, said:
"The Chancellor is right to have announced fresh support to deal with the economic hit being dealt by [the] Omicron [variant of COVID-19].
"With surging case numbers doing real economic damage irrespective of whether further restrictions are introduced, it's right to proceed with economic support immediately."
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