Currently, in order to qualify for sick pay one must: be classed as an employee, earn £118 a week and been ill for at least four days in a row. The government is now trying to lower this threshold and allow more individuals to qualify for this pay.
Currently sick pay entitles you to £94.25 a week. Employers with sick pay schemes may get more whilst of sick. The maximum one can claim for sick pay is 28-weeks, worth.
This means that two million more low-paid workers could receive sick pay for the first time ever. There may also be more help for those returning to work after going on sick leave. The government has subsequently launched a consultation on the proposed changes.
Health Secretary Matt Hancock has stated that employers need to work “to remove the barriers that stop people with disabilities or health conditions from reaching their full potential”.
The government hopes to make sick pay more flexible by helping people get back to their jobs once they have fully recovered from the illness. Every more over 100 000 people leave their job after four-weeks, worth of absence.
The new policies will help explore phased returns back to work, to make the process less intimidating. The policy will also decide whether legal change is needed to encourage employers to support employees during periods of absence. This might allow employees the right to request a more flexible working schedule, until they’ve fully recovered.
Matthew Fell, chief UK policy director at the CBI stated that managing sickness absence is just “good business sense”.