The standard three-day waiting time for Statutory Sick Pay (SSP) will be reinstated for coronavirus-related claims from 25 March 2022, it has been confirmed.
Under current legislation, SSP is not payable for the first three qualifying days in a Period of Incapacity for Work (PIW), known as ‘waiting days’.
The PIW is defined as a period of sickness lasting four days or more in a row. This includes bank holidays, weekends, and non-working days. Waiting days, however, are not always the first three days of the sickness absence, as an employee may be sick on non-qualifying days, such as weekends.
It means SSP can only be paid on qualifying days – the days that your employee normally works.
In response to the coronavirus pandemic, however, the waiting time for SSP was reduced from the first three qualifying days to zero, meaning employers can start paying SSP from the first qualifying day an employee is off work, providing their illness lasts for at least four days in a row.
But the relief will be withdrawn from March next year, meaning coronavirus-related sickness claims will be treated like any other SSP claim.
The news comes after the Statutory Sick Pay Recovery Scheme (SSPRS) was closed at the end of September. The scheme enabled small employers to recover the cost of the additional three days SSP from HM Revenue & Customs (HMRC).
Any outstanding claims under the SSPRS must be submitted by the end of this year.
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