What changed you should expect in Statutory Sick Pay in 2022
The standard wait for statutory sick pay in the UK is 3 days, meaning that you only receive the pay from your employer on the fourth day of qualifying sick leave. The first three days are called waiting days. The Period of Incapacity for Work (PIW) is defined as a period of sickness that lasts for four days or longer, it is a determining factor for employers on when they will pay your statutory sick pay.
As a response for the coronavirus pandemic, the UK government decided to suspend the waiting days, meaning that employers had to pay for every sick day that an employee takes. This change to the statutory sick pay was made in the Coronavirus Act 2020 with a definite expiry date on the 25th of March 2022, directly 2 years after the change has been made. This rule can only be overturned if the government makes an intervention before the expiration date; this means that if an intervention does not go ahead, the statutory sick pay will be reverted to three days as of 25th of March 2022.
Make sure that you make the appropriate corrections to your payroll software to accommodate for the changes in legislation and the re-introduction of the 3 waiting days. You should also make all of your employees that are currently claiming statutory sick pay, that from 25th of March 2022 they will receive their pay from the 4th qualifying day rather than from day 1, as per the Coronavirus Act 2020.
Employers were originally allowed to claim back the 3 waiting days under the Statutory Sick Pay Recovery Scheme, however, as of the end of September this scheme has come to an end, so employers are required to cover the costs of the waiting days until they are re-instated on the 25th of March 2022. If you are an employer that still needs to claim back for the 3 waiting days, you can do so before the end of the year. Follow HMRC’s guidance here.
The Coronavirus Act 2020 has many benefits and burdens depending on how you look at it. Depending on what perspective you take, this change in legislation has been fantastic for those who need to self-isolate but are unable to afford not to go to work. On the other side of the coin, small businesses who have had to wait for their reimbursement from HMRC may have experienced cashflow issues if they’ve had to pay their staff for the 3 day waiting days. This is a very well-made point by The Tax Faculty, and we think that we can all agree that the statutory sick pay was never designed with global pandemic circumstances in mind.
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