8.2.2022 | Tax

Businesses hit by Covid staff absence can claim back sick pay – here’s how

Employers impacted by enforced coronavirus sick leave among staff are now eligible for compensation as part of a government rebate scheme.

Don Mallett, Financial Controller, Payroll and IT Manager at Beatons Group, looks at how businesses can claim back for lost time in the pandemic.

Few businesses have been unaffected by the coronavirus pandemic, with many facing periods of lower staff levels while the virus spread through the population.

It is hoped the recently reintroduced Coronavirus Statutory Sick Pay Rebate Scheme will help ease the pressure on employers who have been hit by the virus among their workforce.

What is the scheme?
Unveiled in late December, the scheme allows employers to claim back up to two weeks of Statutory Sick Pay (£96.35) for employees who had to take time off for Covid-related reasons.

It follows on from the previous scheme, which ran until September 30 and is open to businesses who have previously made a claim.

The online claims portal opened on January 19, with HM Treasury and HMRC yet to announce a closing date – although legislation is set to expire on March 24, alongside the Coronavirus Act 2020.

Who is eligible?
The scheme is tailored towards smaller businesses, with employers with fewer than 250 staff eligible to make a claim.

All types of employment contracts are covered by the scheme, including both full-time and part-time employees, as well as staff on zero-hour or agency contracts.

Staff absences must be for Covid-related reasons, such as being unable to work due to a positive test result, because someone lives with an infected person or if they have been asked to self-isolate by the NHS.

Absences due to international travel guidelines are not covered by the scheme unless affected staff meet other criteria.

The maximum number of employees an employer can claim for cannot exceed the number of staff on PAYE schemes on November 30 last year.

How can you make a claim?
Claims can be made on the government’s online portal.

Employers must have paid their employee’s sick pay before claiming it back.

Businesses who employ an external company to do PAYE online for them can have claims made on their behalf.

Beatons offers a comprehensive payroll service, relieving the burden of arduous and time-consuming paperwork.

Our friendly team would be happy to assist if your business requires payroll assistance or advice on navigating the Coronavirus Statutory Sick Pay Rebate Scheme.

Contact the Beatons team on 01473 659777 or via info@beatons.co.uk.