In December, the government passed some temporary changes to the Statutory Sick Pay (“SSP”) Regulations which temporarily increased the period of sickness absence that an employee is able to self-certify for, from 7 to 28 days.
This temporary change has now finished and will not apply to any periods of sickness absence that commended on or after 27 January 2022.
- Employees beginning their period of sickness absence on or after 27 January 2022 can self-certify for up to 7 days only.
- Employees who began their period of sickness absence on or before 26 January 2022 can continue to self-certify for up 28 days.
As we mentioned in our earlier blog, it’s important to remember these changes only apply to SSP. Where employees are eligible for enhanced sick pay (e.g. under a company sick pay policy) employers can still require employees to follow the requirements of the relevant policy.
Statutory Sick Pay Claim Back
You may remember that in the early days of the COVID-19 pandemic, employers were able to claim repayments of SSP using the Coronavirus Statutory Sick Pay Rebate Scheme. This scheme has been re-opened recently.
Employers can now claim up to 2 weeks SSP (for periods of sickness absence starting on or after 21 December 2021) where an employee is off work because:
- They (or someone they live with) has symptoms of, or has tested positive for, COVID-19;
- They have been notified by the NHS or public health authorities that they’ve been in contact with someone with COVID-19;
- Someone in their support bubble (or ‘extended household’) has symptoms of, or has tested positive for, COVID-19;
- They’ve been advised by a doctor or healthcare professional to self-isolate before going into hospital for surgery.
Employers will only be able to reclaim the SSP rate (currently £96.35 per week), even if the employee has been paid enhanced sick pay. Employers cannot reclaim SSP for any employee whose sickness is not coronavirus related.
Posted on February 2, 2022