To ask the Secretary of State for Work and Pensions what his policy is on alternative models of compensating small businesses for sickness absence after the abolition of the percentage threshold scheme for recovering statutory sick pay.
The Government believe that reinvesting savings from the abolition of the percentage threshold scheme to establish the Health and Work Service is the most effective means of targeting public funds to tackle sickness absence. The Health and Work Service will reduce the length of sickness absence and offers a more proactive approach to sickness absence management. 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 Health and Work Service.
We have considered an alternative approach along the lines of restricting access to a reimbursement scheme to employers with fewer than five employees. However, this was discounted because it resulted in additional burdens on employers and additional statutory sick pay reimbursement costs for the state.