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Statutory sick pay increases by 50 pence

Business / Thu 8th Apr 2021 at 11:18am

AS scheduled, SSP in the UK has risen by 50p, from £95.85 a week to £96.35, an amount that an employee can get for up to 28 weeks reports HR Review.

The amount of sick pay offered has been a prevalent focus for many workers during the pandemic.

As it stands, employees who are self-isolating due to coming into contact with someone with coronavirus are only eligible to receive SSP after four days of isolating.

Research conducted by the Resolution Foundation found that this self-isolation was imperative to prohibit the spread of COVID-19. However, the data suggested that over 2 million workers are not eligible for the payment as they earn under £120 a week.

Due to this, many employees have been forced to go into work despite having or showing symptoms of the virus.

In addition, the OECD found that SSP in the UK is the lowest level of Government support across any advanced economy during the pandemic, potentially putting employees under significant financial pressure if they are sick.

The TUC have stressed that the rise has “[failed] to fix decent sick pay” which will “risk more infections and another lockdown”.

The body previously made the recommendation that statutory sick pay should be fixed by raising it to £330 a week which would match the level of the Real Living Wage. It also called for the two million workers who have been exempt from receiving SSP to now be eligible for this payment, noting that this particularly targets low-earners.

However, Chancellor Rishi Sunak stated in his Budget that eligible employers that have under 250 members of staff would be allowed to apply to the HMRC in order to be reimbursed for two weeks of SSP, specifically linked to COVID-19 related illness.

Discussing self-isolation, a spokesperson for the Government stated:

There is a comprehensive package of financial support in place for workers who need to self-isolate to help stop the spread of coronavirus – including a £500 payment for those on the lowest incomes who have been contacted by NHS Test and Trace.

Many employers pay more than the minimum level of statutory sick pay and employers with up to 250 staff can be reimbursed the cost of up to a fortnight’s statutory sick pay.

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