Editor's message: While qualifying employees are entitled to statutory sick pay at a basic rate, many employers choose to pay occupational sick pay, often at employees' normal rate of pay. With most organisations continually looking at ways to recruit and retain the best employees, a good occupational sick pay scheme can be an important workplace benefit.
Offering sick pay above the statutory minimum has also been shown to increase the chances of employees on long-term sickness absence making a successful return to work, as they will not have to worry about lack of earnings which can contribute to mental ill health, or slow their recovery. They also feel more valued and supported by their employer.
Whatever sick pay scheme you have in place, if your organisation is to remain productive and competitive, it needs to manage its absence rates proactively. While most employees will naturally be off sick at some stage, excessive sickness absence can have a negative impact on productivity, customer-service levels and staff motivation, as well as resulting in increased staffing costs.
Noelle Murphy, senior HR practice editor
Updated to include information on TSN v Hyvinvointialan Liitto Ry; AKT v Satamaoperaattorit Ry, in which the European Court of Justice confirmed that, in the absence of an agreement to the contrary, holiday carry-over for workers on sick leave is limited to four weeks.
In TSN v Hyvinvointialan Liitto Ry; AKT v Satamaoperaattorit Ry, the European Court of Justice (ECJ) held that, in the absence of domestic legislation or collective agreements to the contrary, workers on sick leave are not entitled to carry over any paid annual leave over and above the EU minimum of four weeks.
We discuss trends in labour turnover and sickness absence rates based on data gathered by XpertHR.
Sickness absence interventions are most commonly triggered by employees being absent on three or four different occasions in a rolling 12-month period or by an absence for a total of 10 cumulative days.
A model letter to confirm what has been agreed following an informal long-term sickness absence return-to-work meeting (also known as a "return-to-work interview").
A model form to record an informal return-to-work meeting (also known as a "return-to-work interview") taking place after long-term sickness absence.
A model policy to use as a guide to conducting an informal return-to-work meeting (also known as a "return-to-work interview") taking place after long-term sickness absence.
July 2019 saw progress made on an unusual number of proposed employment law changes. The Government published consultations covering workplace sexual harassment, statutory sick pay, family-friendly leave and pay, flexibility in working hours, modern slavery statements, and enforcement of worker rights. It also made announcements on changes to the laws on rehabilitation periods for offenders, settlement agreements, and protection against redundancy during pregnancy and maternity leave.
The Government consults on proposals to support disabled people and people with long-term health conditions to remain in work.
Updated to include information on a new Government consultation concerning proposed reforms to statutory sick pay.
HR and legal information and guidance relating to sickness absence and sick pay.