Change to sick pay rules set to impact small businesses

By Anita Jaynes on March 3, 2014

New sick pay rules planned for April could have a big impact on small employers but few appear to be aware of the impending changes, Swindon accountants are warning.

Currently, employers pay an absent employee £86.70 a week statutory sick pay, but can start to recover this via their payroll once the outlay exceeds 13 per cent of their total National Insurance bill.

But from April employers will no longer be able to recover the sick pay, which then rises to £87.55 a week.

Swindon-based Banks, Chartered Accountants says that many businesses it comes across appear to be unaware of this change, which in practice may mean that where an employee goes on long-term sick leave not only will the employer be unable to reclaim the sick pay they may also end up paying for any long-term replacement.

“Businesses with one or two employees will hardest hit if the business is based on both employees working and bringing in an income and one goes on long-term sick leave,” said Richard Mathews, director of Banks, Chartered Accountants. “It would mean a drop in income for the business but no relief to recover the sick payments.”

The Department for Works and Pensions has scrapped the relief because it feels the current rebate situation does not provide an incentive for employers to get sick employees back to work.

Richard added that employers still have until the end of 2015/16 to recover statutory sick pay for sickness absences occurring before the end of 2013/14.

Employers needing more information, or help with issues regarding statutory sick play, should email richard.mathews@banksca.co.uk or visit www.banksca.co.uk.