Government Plans To Expand SSP And Offer It To Lower Paid Workers The government has announced that more workers will be eligible to claim statutory sick pay (SSP), and will be able to claim it for mental as well as physical health conditions, under plans detailed in a consultation by the Department for Work and Pensions and the Department of Health and Social Care.
The government plans to amend SSP regulations to enable an employee returning from a period of sickness absence to have a flexible, phased return to work, working the hours and days that would benefit them. This would allow an employee to earn a part wage and part SSP.
Under current rules financial support is only available for employees earning an average of £118 a week (the equivalent 14 hours a week on minimum wage). Statutory sick pay is paid by employers and is worth a flat rate of £94.25 a week for up to 28 weeks.
“I want Britain to be an environment where disabled people and those with health conditions can thrive, not just survive – not only in work but every area of their lives,” said the work and pensions secretary, Amber Rudd.
Evidence shows that early intervention by an employer is important in reducing the number of people leaving the workforce for health reasons. Employers can use simple, low-cost measures such as making flexible adjustments to someone’s working pattern or keeping in touch with people while they are on sick leave.
The lower earnings limit is designed to stop workers earning more while off sick than they would if they returned to their job. If it is approved, the change would make anyone who earns less than £118 a week eligible for sick pay equal to 80% of their wage.