Do your staff understand sick pay?

Do your staff understand sick pay?

Workers don’t know they could face a significant salary shortfall if they are unwell and are unable to work, according to research from Direct Line Life Insurance.

Staff believe on average they would receive their full pay for three and a half months if they were to become ill.

However, the reality is very different, as 43% of firms reduce an employee’s wages to statutory sick pay after just two weeks of an employee being unable to work through illness.

One in six firms (16%) immediately switch to paying statutory sick pay once an employee has been off work for four days. Furthermore, almost a third (30%) of HR professionals said the qualifying period for their company sick pay schemes is between 1 and 2 years.

Trevor Bush, Head of Direct Line Life Insurance, warned some employees could be shocked when faced with the reality of sick pay. “This research highlights a worrying disconnect between peoples’ expectations and what they would actually be entitled to if they were to unexpectedly fall ill. Statutory sick pay is significantly lower than the national average salary and people are only eligible for 28 weeks, so those with long term conditions could find themselves in struggling financially if they are unable to work for a long period of time.

Separate research from BrightHR found that Tuesday was the most common day for employees to call in sick in 2017.

BrightHR Chief Technical Officer Alastair Brown said this news came as a surprise.

“Tuesday, not Monday was the most popular day to call in sick with Flu, food poisoning and migraines being the most common reasons for an employee taking sick leave on, what we now call, truancy Tuesday,” he said. “Some of the stranger reasons for not coming into work included getting a splinter and having to fill in as someone’s birthing partner.

“The month with the highest sicknesses logged was October with the start of winter taking a toll on employees and flu viruses starting to spread around workplaces and schools.”

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