With effect from 6th April 2014, it is no longer possible for employers to reclaim statutory sick pay from the government. Previously, employers could reclaim any amount of SSP which exceeded 13% of its national insurance contributions in the month. The rationale for abolishing it is that it gave employers an incentive not to encourage long-term sick employees to return to the workplace.
The money saved (estimated at £50m a year) will be put towards the new Health & Work Service, due to start in 2015, which will help employees and employers put together plans to facilitate a return to work.
Employment Partner Kate Fretten says “This change may be of real concern to smaller employers in particular, who previously would have been able to claim a large proportion of SSP back from the government, but will no longer be able to do so.” There are some fears that it may lead to employers who suffer a bad sickness absence record either having less staff or, alternatively, dismissing employees with significant sickness records without going through a proper procedure.
At Frettens, all of our solicitors offer a free initial meeting to chat on the phone to answer your questions. If this article raises issues for you or your business, please call us on 01202 499255 andKate or Paul will be happy to discuss it with you.