FSB lobbies government to reform sick pay recovery


Sick days cost small businesses £1,500 a year, according to the Federation of Small Businesses.

A recent survey carried out by the FSB found that despite small businesses reporting fewer sick days than medium and big sized businesses, the average cost still reached £1,500 due to complexities around the recovery of statutory sick pay (SSP).   

Nine per cent of those surveyed said recovery of SSP cost them more than £5,000.

The business lobby group believes the Government must clarify the procedures taken by businesses when back claiming statutory sick pay through the Percentage Threshold System.

The average number of sick days taken by an employee is 7.7 days a year, but for those working for a small business it’s just 2.4 days.

Now the FSB has decided to lobby the government to introduce a small employer’s relief for all firms with an annual National Insurance bill of less than £45,000 to recover SSP.

Commenting on the decision, FSB chairman John Walker said: “Sickness absence is one of the most complex pieces of employment law they have to deal with.

“The Government must provide a small employers relief for statutory sick pay in the same way they do for statutory maternity pay so those small businesses that experience a member of staff on long-term sickness absence, are not hampered and are given the support they need.”

The FSB says the proposed relief would be like that used for reclaiming statutory maternity pay and would use the same calculations. As a result, “it would ease the administrative burden, as well as helping businesses manage sickness absence better.”

However the FSB believes that the Government needs to clarify the procedures for businesses back claiming statutory sick pay through the Percentage Threshold System.

What do you think?

Chris Gee, sales director for independent serviced apartment provider SilverDoor said: “We believe the FSB should not to be lobbying to reform statutory sick pay recovery and small businesses should look at alternative ways of reducing absenteeism.

SilverDoor lost 0.18 % of total working time through absenteeism this year, compared to the national average of 2.4 per cent in UK small businesses. We attribute this to the implementation of an attendance bonus for all staff of £150 per month for no sick days or lateness.”