2 million low-paid workers could be entitled to sick pay ‘for the first time’ with SSP

Ill woman on the sofa with medicine and tissues around her.

The UK government is looking at extending the statutory sick pay (SSP) eligibility to UK workers who earn less than the current minimum qualifying requirements.

Do I qualify for statutory sick pay (SSP)?

Statutory sick pay is exclusive to those who earn a minimum of £118 a week, but the Department for Work and Pensions (DWP) will assess whether people earning below this should receive the same entitlement.

The current requirement (£118 a week) is the equivalent of working a 14-hour week on minimum wage.

There are also suggestions that those returning to work following an extended absence will be given extra help, with the government keen to reduce the number of employees leaving work following their return.

The government hope that the changes will encourage those with long-term conditions and disabilities to get back into work.

What is statutory sick pay?

Statutory sick pay (SSP) is a legal requirement for employers, who must begin providing sick pay to employees on their fourth consecutive day of absence.

Statistics from the DWP say that over 100,000 people each year fail to return to work following an absence of more than 4 weeks, with just under half of those who take a year away leaving employment entirely.

These new suggestions would also help to introduce a ‘phased return to work’ scheme, meaning that employees could ease their way back into work without having to worry too much about the impact it’ll have on their finances.

How much is statutory sick pay in the UK?

The amount of SSP you are entitled to will depend on the hours that you usually work.

For example, full-time workers get £94.25 a week for 28 weeks, while part-time workers are paid on a pro-rata basis.

Work and Pensions Secretary, Amber Rudd, has said: “I want Britain to be an environment where disabled people with health conditions can survive, not just thrive”.

Her comments have been echoed by Health Secretary, Matt Hancock, who insists that “we need to remove the barriers that stop people with disabilities or health conditions from reaching their full potential.”

If you are concerned that SSP would not be enough to get you through a difficult period, consider looking into income protection insurance – you can get a free, personalised quote from Bobatoo by tapping the green button below:

To find out more on SSP and income protection, check out Bobatoo’s useful guide: SSP vs Income Protection.

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