To ask the Secretary of State for Work and Pensions, what steps she has taken to remove the (a) lower earnings limit and (b) 28-week cap for people claiming statutory sick pay.
My department has been working with departments across government to ensure that there is an effective safety net for individuals who are unable to support themselves financially. Statutory Sick Pay (SSP) is just one part of our welfare safety net and our wider offer to support people in times of need. Many of those earning below the Lower Earnings Limit (£120 per week), who are not eligible for SSP, are already in receipt of benefits. For those on Universal Credit, their award will rise if their income falls.
Those who are not already in receipt of benefits may be able to claim Universal Credit and new style Employment and Support Allowance, depending on their personal circumstances, to support them when they are unable to work. We have ensured that benefits are easily accessible and more supportive for those who need to make a claim which will help millions of people most in need.
Employees are eligible for up to 28 weeks of SSP per sickness absence. Sickness absences must be 8 or more weeks apart to count as separate periods of sickness. In any new period of sickness employees are eligible for 28 weeks of SSP.