Reforming Statutory Sick Pay
15 July 2019
Reforming Statutory Sick Pay (SSP) forms part of the consultation published by the government today and includes proposals to amend the rules of SSP to allow for phased returns to work following sickness absence and to widen eligibility for SSP to extend protection to those on the lowest incomes.
The consultation ‘Health is everyone’s business’, includes a range of measures to reduce ill health-related job loss, seeking views on how employers can best support disabled people and people with long-term health conditions to stay and thrive, in work.
The government proposes to reform Statutory Sick Pay (SSP) so that it is available to all employees who need it, is more flexible in supporting employees and is underpinned by a suitable enforcement framework. Proposed changes include:
Amending the rules of SSP to allow for phased returns to work following sickness absence
Widening eligibility for SSP to extend protection to those on the lowest incomes
Strengthening compliance and enforcement of SSP to ensure employees are paid what they are due
Alongside these specific reforms, this consultation also considers how a rebate of SSP for SMEs that demonstrate best practice in supporting employees on sickness absence might be designed.
The government is also interested in exploring ways to record SSP payments and use this information to provide helpful prompts and advice to employers.
The government is not proposing to make any further changes to the structure of SSP beyond the reforms outlined above, however, it has considered the extent to which the rate and length of SSP drives employer behaviour and is interested in views on this.
The consultation also proposes improving access to occupational health services with additional support for small employers including a potential subsidy and for government to provide best practice advice and support for employers on managing health and disability in the workplace.
One to watch! We have been waiting for the publication of this consultation for some time and will be consulting with you, the payroll professionals, for your valuable expertise and opinions. Details to follow…