Employers can only choose to opt out of the statutory sick pay (SSP) scheme if they operate their own scheme, such as continuation of wages or, payment of occupational sick pay at or above the SSP rate.
Details of the organisation’s sickness provisions should be included in employees’ Employment Contract or, within the Employee Handbook. Non-payment of SSP is covered by the Employment Rights Act 1996 and, therefore, may be deemed unlawful deduction from wages.
The Employment Contract should specify the period of time for which contractual sick pay will be paid and employers may also choose to also attach a qualifying clause for eligibility. Details of how an employee should give notification of their sickness, and to whom that notice should be given, should also be included.
Medical evidence will normally be required to determine entitlement. Self-certification normally operates for the first seven days of incapacity (including any days not normally worked), after which a GP certificate is usually required. The Employment Contract may also state the company policy on medical examinations and what might happen should the employee be unable to return to his or her previous role after a period of sickness absence.
Employers may not treat part-time workers less favourably than comparable full-time employees and equal treatment must extend to the calculation and duration of sick pay and any qualifying period.
If you need further information on any of the topics above for your business, get in touch.
For more information or to book an HR consultation please contact Karen Scott on 07762 629 448 or get in touch by clicking here.
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