Small and medium-sized businesses will be able to claim money from the government to cover statutory sick pay that is paid to employees affected by Covid, the chancellor has said.
Rishi Sunak said the Treasury was reintroducing the rebate scheme which ended on 30 September.
It is part of a series of measures announced to support firms affected by the new wave of infections.
Statutory sick pay (SSP) of £96.35 a week is paid by employers.
The cost of sick pay is one of businesses' concerns as they face a wave of absences caused by the omicron variant of Covid.
The Statutory Sick Pay Rebate Scheme means businesses with fewer than 250 employees will be reimbursed SSP for Covid-related absences, for up to two weeks per employee.
They will be eligible to make a claim from now and can make claims retrospectively from mid-January.