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Government proposes SSP extension to those earning less than lower earnings limit

16 July 2019

The Government has set out  proposed new measures “to transform how employers support and retain disabled staff and those with a health condition".

Under the new measures the lowest paid employees would be eligible for Statutory Sick Pay (SSP) for the first time, while small businesses may be offered a sick pay rebate to reward those who effectively manage employees on sick leave and help them get back to work.

Each year more than 100,000 people leave their job following a period of sickness absence lasting at least 4 weeks, new figures show.

The longer somebody is on sickness absence the more likely they are to fall out of work, with 44% of people who had been off sick for a year then leaving employment altogether.

Businesses and health providers will be asked for their views on how to remove the barriers in the current system which stop employers from taking action, with small employers expected to need the most support.

The majority of small employers reported a lack of time and capital to invest in support as the key issues.

The government will also consider whether to change legal guidance to encourage employers to intervene early during a period of sickness absence.

The consultation will also look at how to improve the capacity, value and quality of occupational health services and consider how to reduce the high costs, particularly for smaller employers.

The Government wants to ensure all employers can access good advice and support so they understand and are able to act on their responsibilities to employees.

Read the consultation Health is everyone’s business: proposals to reduce ill health-related job loss @ www.gov.uk

The consultation runs until 7 October 2019.