Half of employers not sick-pay compliant

Half of employers are yet to comply with legislation around sick pay, according to new research by Group Risk Development (Grid).

The Employment Rights (Employment Particulars and Paid Annual Leave) (Amendment) Regulations 2018 (SI 2018/1378) came into force on 6 April 2020. It requires employers to inform their staff of their entitlement to paid sick leave from day one – or even before they join.

But according to Grid, not only are more than a quarter (27%) still reviewing their communications protocols, but 7% are completely unaware of the legislation at all.

Responding to the findings Katharine Moxham, spokesperson for Grid, said: “While we all know employers have had a lot on their plates over the past year – and we appreciate this is one more thing for them to think about – not complying with this legislation is a missed opportunity to engage with staff exactly what that support looks like in practice.”

She added: “Every employer will know the expense of recruitment, in terms of both time and resources, when staff leave for pastures new. This legislation means that those companies who truly value their employees and demonstrate that by supporting them when they are absent, are more likely to win the battle to recruit and importantly, retain, the best talent.”

The research also found one in 10 employers knew about the legislation but admitted they still had not taken any remedial action, while 5% were not sure how they were going to adapt to it.

Moxham said that unless told otherwise, many employees will eroneously assume that their employer will look after them if they fall ill rather than just be offered a statutory sick pay level of £96.35 a week for 28 weeks.

She highlighted that employers not complying with the legislation are not only breaking the law but are missing an employee engagement opportunity.

Moxham added: “We know employers don’t always fully understand the minutiae of all the employee benefits they offer, but the result could be that employers find themselves falling short compared to their competitors when it comes to providing enhanced absence support for employees.

“Employers have a binary choice: to improve their offering or explain to staff that they only offer the statutory minimum.”