Statutory Sick Pay (SSP) has long been one of the most complicated bits of legislation we have to tackle. What with Periods of Incapacity for Work (PIWs), waiting days and linking periods it has become something of a nightmare to administer. This regime looks even less relevant today with complex employee working patterns, multiple jobs, variable hours and zero hours contracts.
Then you have the law of unintended consequences: someone attempting a phased return to work and losing entitlement to SSP before they are fully back. So all in all this is legislation that is long overdue for review.
Extension of entitlement
Consultation is going on at present so we await to see the outcome but what we are expecting is an extension of entitlement to the lower-paid (currently you have to be averaging £118 a week to qualify). We also think something will be done to stop SSP being curtailed when an employee is working a phased return. Suggestions also being made that some form of a rebate from HMRC for small employers suffering SSP might be re-introduced. This was phased out completely in 2013-14. No doubt small employers would welcome some assistance in this area. Sadly, no hint of change in the complex area of creating a PIW, waiting days and linking periods. All of which require a detailed understanding of the law to have any chance of explaining to a poorly employee.