The Chancellor has announced that an additional £1 billion of government support payments will be made available for businesses who have been impacted by the Omicron variant of Covid-19.
Statutory Sick Pay Rebate Scheme Reintroduced
The Statutory Sick Pay Rebate Scheme (SSPRS), which ended on 30 September, is to be reintroduced. The scheme will enable small and medium-sized businesses to claim money from the government to cover statutory sick pay for employees affected by Covid-19.
Recap of the scheme
The SSPRS is designed to help businesses with fewer than 250 employees by reimbursing them for the cost of Statutory Sick Pay (SSP) covid-related absences.
The repayment can cover up to two weeks of the applicable rate of SSP per employee. The weekly rate for SSP is £96.35. Employers that pay more than the weekly rate of SSP can only claim up to the weekly rate paid.
When can claims be made?
Firms will be eligible for the scheme from 21 December 2021 and they will be able to make claims retrospectively from mid-January.
Further guidance will be shared as soon as it is published.
Grants for Hospitality and Leisure
One-off grants of up to £6,000 per premises will be made available by the government for businesses in the hospitality and leisure sectors. This measure is in response to the rise of the Omicron variant of Covid-19 and reduced trade within the hospitality industry.
The grants are equivalent to the monthly cash grants provided to the hospitality and leisure sectors when they were fully closed.
£100 million is also being provided to top-up the Additional Restrictions Grant fund. This will enable local authorities to support other businesses impacted by Omicron, including those that supply the hospitality and leisure sectors.
How to apply
The grants will be administered by local authorities, with applications made directly to them.