Covid-19: Statutory Sick Pay Rebate reintroduced to cover staff absence

By Helena Biggs | 21 December 2021 | Movers & Shakers, News

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The NHBF reported that 28% of UK hair and beauty salons have reported staff shortages owing to the emergence of the Omicron variant and the government’s Plan B. And today (21 December), chancellor Rishi Sunak MP has announced that the government is reintroducing the Statutory Sick Pay Rebate Scheme to support affected businesses in the UK.

The rebate scheme ended on 30 September, but now, eligible small and medium-sized businesses can claim compensation from the government for the cost of sick pay for their employees.

Statutory sick pay is of £96.35 is paid by employers and the scheme means that businesses with fewer than 250 employees can be reimbursed for Covid-related absences. This rebate covers up to two weeks per employee.

Sunak comments: “I am confident that these measures will help hundreds of thousands of businesses and and the millions of people that they employ.”

Businesses can claim from now by clicking here.

Sunak also announced support for the hospitality and leisure sectors with cash grants, as he recognises that the rise of the Omicron variant means that many businesses are to experience challenging times.

The British Beauty Council reports that personal care businesses in England will be able to apply for up to £100m in Additional Restrictions Grants via their local authority.

The Scottish Government also made an additional £120m available via a Local Authority Discretionary Fund to help businesses struggling in the pandemic. Wales and Northern Ireland are yet to outline further financial support.

When asked about the possibility of further restrictions, prime minister Boris Johnson said that ministers were considering ‘all kinds of things to keep Omicron under control.’

“With a surge in Omicron cases, people are rightly exercising more caution as they go about their lives, which is impacting our hospitality, leisure and cultural sectors at what is typically the busiest time of the year.

“That’s why we’re taking immediate action to help with an extra £1 billion in grants to these industries and reintroducing our Statutory Sick Pay Rebate Scheme.”