to my previous blog post on 20th March 2014 concerning the Health
and Work Service (http://employmentconnect.crippslaw.com/2014/03/health-and-work-service.html),
the government has now made changes to Statutory Sick Pay.
to 6 April 2014 an employer could reclaim payments of Statutory Sick Pay (SSP)
which exceeded 13% of their organisation’s national insurance contributions in
the month. This provision has now been abolished, on the basis that employers
were not incentivised to encourage employees on long-term sick leave to return
to the workplace. Employers are now wholly responsible for funding sick
pay paid to absent employees.
£50million which this is expected to save the government will be put towards
the new Health & Work Service which is due to start in 2015. The idea
behind the Health & Work Service is that it will save employers money by
helping them get sick employees back to work. The Health & Work Service
will provide free Occupational Health Assessments for employees who are off
sick for four weeks or more. It will also provide a website and a helpline
which will give information and advice to employers. The government expects a
minimum of 350,000 employees to be referred in the course of a year.
is worth highlighting that with a free occupational health assessment
available, it may be considered reasonable to expect every employer to refer an
employee for an occupational health assessment before dismissing for
ill-health. In addition, a failure to follow the recommendations given by
Occupational Health may well constitute an unfair dismissal and/or a failure in
the employer’s duty to make reasonable adjustments.