Making Statutory Sick Pay Work: new research report

Wed,26 July 2023
News Benefits
WPI Economics has published new research with the Centre for Progressive Change that makes the case for reform of statutory sick pay (SSP).

The research report finds that:

  • Workers on SSP receive as little as £1.10 an hour in the first week and less than £3 an hour thereafter. More than half of workers (52%) on SSP are living in poverty
  • This leads many to have to choose between coming to work sick or struggling to make ends meet
  • Overall, based on conservative assumptions, the UK would benefit from a boost of up to £4.1 billion if every worker relying on SSP received a higher rate of employer sick pay from day one.

WPI says: “The positive effects of sick pay reform would particularly benefit the increasing proportion of the UK workforce managing long-term conditions and ensure fewer workers fall out of the job market entirely.

“The evidence found that the direct costs of increasing sick pay were outweighed by the benefits, which include increased productivity, fewer periods of prolonged absence due to exacerbating existing conditions and better public health outcomes, because people are not spreading illness by coming into work sick.”

Both a summary version of the WPI Making Statutory Sick Pay Work report and a full version are available at