To ask the Secretary of State for Work and Pensions what assessment he has made of the effect on the ability of small businesses to manage sickness absence of abolishing the percentage threshold scheme for recovering statutory sick pay.
The SSP percentage threshold scheme compensates employers with high levels of sickness absence but an independent review of sickness absence1 found it does nothing to tackle the causes of absence. As a result, the Government accepted a recommendation in the review to abolish the percentage threshold scheme. The Government also accepted a recommendation to establish a service (now known as the Health and Work Service) to offer specialist occupational health assessment and advice to employers, employees and GPs. The service is designed to reduce the costs of sickness absence for employers by addressing the obstacles preventing a return to work, and supporting employees back to work as quickly as appropriate. It will be funded from the savings made from the abolition of the PTS and will provide a more proactive way to manage sickness absence.
Small businesses are least likely to have access to occupational health services, and will benefit from having access to occupational health assessments and advice through the HWS.
1 Black, C. and Frost, D (2011) “Health at work—and independent review of sickness absence”.