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Three-day wait for Statutory Sick Pay to return next year

Unless the government intervenes, the regular three-day waiting period for Statutory Sick Pay (SSP) for coronavirus (COVID-19)-related claims will be resumed on March 25, 2022.

Employers in the United Kingdom are not required to pay SSP to an employee until the fourth qualifying day of the Period of Incapacity for Work, according to normal standards (PIW). The PIW is defined as a period of illness that lasts four or more calendar days, not all of which must be qualifying days.

During the COVID-19 epidemic, the government waived the three-day waiting period for COVID-related SSP, requiring employers to pay it from the first day of eligibility.

The Coronavirus Act 2020, which is set to expire in two years, was used to change the SSP regulations. This implies that, unless an intervention is made to keep the measure in place, COVID-related SSP waiting times will resume to three days on March 25, 2022.

Frank Haskew, Head of the Tax Faculty at the Institute of Chartered Accountants in England and Wales (ICAEW), said:

‘The SSP rules were not really designed with a highly infectious global pandemic in mind, which is why the current easements have been welcome.

‘While some employees who are ill from coronavirus or required to self-isolate may be unable to afford not to go to work unless they are paid SSP for the first three days, there are also small businesses where the unreimbursed cost of paying three days’ coronavirus-related SSP to employees is a real burden.’

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