Government statutory sick pay plans axed

A Government proposal which would have required employers to pay statutory sick pay (SSP) to staff from day one of their absence has been scrapped due to the potential cost to firms. The proposal was included in a green paper on welfare reform published in January that aimed to simplify the rules.

Last month, John Hutton, work and pensions secretary announced that the government will instead revise plans to put in place a sick-pay system that discourages long-term inactivity and absence.

But Graham Drewett, compensation and benefits manager at Logica CMG, claimed that the proposals would have had little impact on employers that pay above the statutory minimum anyway. "While it is something we would need to programme into payroll and there would [have been] a bit of HR communication, it would not [have been] of [much] concern,"he added.

Drewett said smaller firms, which would have been most affected, would welcome the decision. "It could be a significant overhead depending on the population. "If you’re a smaller organisation with low pay, you might have more of an absence culture."