FSB: Employers relief needed for SSP

Government must introduce a small employer's relief for the recovery of statutory sick pay (SSP), says the Federation of Small Businesses (FSB).

The FSB is calling for the introduction of a small employer’s relief for all firms with an annual National Insurance Contributions bill of less than £45,000 to recover SSP.

This relief would be like that used for reclaiming statutory maternity pay and would use the same calculations. As a result, it would ease the administrative burden, as well as helping businesses manage sickness absence better, says the lobbying group.

New figures from the lobbying group show that sickness absence costs small businesses on average £1,500 per year.

The FSB’s ‘Voice of Small Business’ survey panel shows that, in the last 12 months, sickness absence cost firms on average £1,500, but for 9 per cent it cost more than £5,000.

The organisation says that currently, some small businesses can feel confused by the Percentage Threshold Scheme, the system used to calculate how much SSP an employer can claim back, meaning that many small businesses either have to spend time doing difficult calculations or they have to spend money on buying in help.

With 40 per cent of small business employers claiming that dealing with holiday entitlement and sickness absence was one of the most difficult aspects of employment law, the FSB believes that recovery needs to be simplified so micro firms can reclaim all SSP costs more easily to stop them from being hampered at such a difficult time.

FSB national chairman John Walker says, ‘Small firms act like a tight knit family and value the contribution their staff bring to the business. Research shows that staff in smaller firms are more often committed and loyal. But sickness absence is one of the most complex pieces of employment law they have to deal with.

The government must provide a Small Employers Relief for statutory sick pay in the same way they do for statutory maternity pay so those small businesses that experience a member of staff on long-term sickness absence, are not hampered and are given the support they need.’

Ben Lobel

Ben Lobel

Ben Lobel was the editor of SmallBusiness.co.uk from 2010 to 2018. He specialises in writing for start-up and scale-up companies in the areas of finance, marketing and HR.

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