UK amongst worst in Europe for sick pay

UK amongst worst in Europe for sick pay

Staff in the UK have the worst pay for time off sick across Europe, new research has shown.

The report, compiled by vouchercloud, found that the amount of mandatory sick pay available to workers in the UK for a week of sick leave totals just £35.96 - and nothing at all in Ireland.

Through a combination of low sick pay and ‘waiting days’ - a period at the beginning of sick leave where nothing is paid - Britain and Ireland lag far behind the rest of Europe.

Conversely, employees in Norway and Luxembourg could receive £600 for just one week of sick leave. Staff here, however, must make do with a basic minimum payment - £88.45 and £71.82 (€84.50) per week - leaving those without a workplace sick pay scheme with a major financial shortfall.

Chris Johnson, Head of Operations at vouchercloud, commented on the findings: “Despite an increasing number of companies operating independent sick pay schemes, it’s disappointing that the UK is sitting right at the bottom of the table for mandatory payments.

When we look at monthly rates, the UK is still at the bottom of the European table- on average an employee will receive 18% of their monthly wage.

Perhaps most shockingly, Bulgaria - with an average wage of £3,896 per year, compared to the UK’s £21,552 - still pays out £55.45 for a week of sick leave, almost £20 more than the UK.

In Luxembourg, Germany, Austria, Belgium and Norway mandatory sick leave payment is 100% of the employees typical wage for one month.

“Despite differences all across Europe in the number of waiting days and whether the government or the employer pays, there’s no excuse for things to be as bad as they are,” continued Johnson.

“This could leave many hard-working Brits in the lurch should they fall ill; even for a week or two. Sometimes missing just a couple of days can be the difference between a month in the black and a month in the red, after all.”

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Comments (1)

  • TC
    Tue, 30 Aug 2016 2:07pm BST
    It'd be interesting to see absence levels across those countries
    It shows why there is a growing case of presenteeism in UK

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