Changes to SSP
Employers are now no longer able to recover any payments of Statutory Sick Pay (SSP) that are made to employees who are absent from work. This means that for any employees who are absent from work after the 6th April 2014 employers will have to pay the full rate of SSP with no ability to recover the money paid. Prior to the recent change employers could recover SSP where the amount of SSP paid in a month exceeded 13% of their national insurance contributions. Although SSP is not paid at the full rate of normal pay (current maximum is £87.55 per week) for many employers this is an added expense, particularly where an employee is off work long term and a replacement has to be paid as well.
Why make the change?
Put simply it is about saving money! It is estimated that the saving will be in the region of £50 million. Aside from saving public money the government also want to focus an employer’s mind on dealing with the issues and getting employees back into work. It has been suggested that whilst employees are off sick and receiving SSP employers have no incentive to try to encourage employees to return to work, or deal with the causes of long term sickness absence. By removing the repayment to employers the government hope that more employees will return to work, and a lot quicker than they otherwise would have done.
Health & Work Service
Some of the money being saved from SSP repayments is being used to fund a new ‘Health & Work’ service that will be introduced in 2015. Part of this service will be assistance to employers to deal with sickness absence, and proposals for free occupational health reports. This is something that warrants its own update and I will provide further updates as this develops! If you would like any more information about Statutory Sick Pay, dealing with employee absence or any other issue please do not hesitate to contact me for a no obligation discussion on 023 80298006, 01983 897003, or email to [email protected]