With effect from 6 April 2014 the current arrangements for the recovery of some or all of the Statutory Sick Pay paid to employees by reducing the employer’s payment to HMRC will cease. No employer will be able to recover any of the SSP paid to an employee.
The money saved by this withdrawal is being used to fund the new Health and Work Service.
This service will have two elements.
• Advice: Employees, employers, and GPs will be able to access a web and phone-based health and work advice service at any point
• Assessment: When an employee has reached, or is expected to reach, four weeks of sickness absence they can be referred by their GP for an assessment by an occupational health professional. Employers will also be able to refer employees after four weeks, if they have not been referred by their GP. Where appropriate, the service will produce a return to work plan and signposting to interventions.
The Government believes HWS could save employers between £70 million – £160 million a year in reduced sickness absence costs. It will however impact on those employers who were previously able to reclaim some or all of the payments they had to make to employees.