Is SSP too low?

New guidance from the CIPD has asserted that currently, the Statutory Sick Pay (SSP) system is broken and needs urgent reform. This has been considering skyrocketing Omicron variant-related coronavirus cases, and warnings from the Government that the start of 2022 may be defined by absences.

The CIPD’s report ‘What should an effective sick pay system look like?’, includes a survey of over 1,000 employers, which found that nearly two thirds of employers agree that the SSP rate is too low and should be increased.

The UK SSP rate stands at £96.35 per week for up to 28 weeks, which the report from the CIPD states is significantly lower than most European nations. The COVID pandemic has exposed how financially inadequate SSP is, with many people still working when ill or needing to self-isolate.

Of the UK’s 32.5 million-strong workforce, 5.6million people do not currently qualify for SSP, including the self-employed and those who are unable to access SSP because they don’t meet the lower earnings limit.  Any increase in SSP rates will be subject to employer consultation and 121 HR Solutions will keep an eye on this subject and bring further updates as they occur.

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