Knowledge

We help make your business a success

Statutory Sick Pay changes could affect small employers

A major change to Statutory Sick Pay (SSP) comes into force on 6th April 2014, which will affect all employers.


Currently, under the Percentage Threshold Scheme (PTS), employers can recover SSP costs for their employees’ sickness if the total SSP paid in a tax month is more than 13% of their gross Employers’ (Class 1) National Insurance contributions in the same month.


The PTS is there to compensate employers who have higher-than average sickness absences amongst their employees, but a recent review showed that it had not encouraged employers to manage sickness absence in the workplace. The cost of sickness absence is falling but still costs the UK economy £14 billion a year and hits small businesses particularly badly. The PTS has been described as “disaster relief” for small firms faced with a big financial outlay when too many workers go off sick at the same time.


On 6th April, PTS will be scrapped and employers will no longer be able to reclaim money spent on SSP. The money saved by the Government will be diverted to the new Health and Work Service, which is to be launched later this year/next year, aimed at helping employees who have been on sickness for four weeks return to work quicker and help employers improve their sickness absence management.


SSP is currently £86.70 per week, rising to £87.55 on 6th April 2014. Employers pay this and are likely to have to pay for a replacement worker to cover for the sick employee.


The Department for Work and Pensions (DWP) defended the decision, which has attracted a lot of criticism, by saying:


“Any financial loss to business from the ending of the PTS will more than likely be offset by a reduction in lost working days, earlier return to work and increased economic output”.


Many detractors believe this change will threaten the UK’s smallest businesses, giving them new financial pressures, and that the changes have been badly publicised.


So, from 6th April:



  • Employers will no longer be able to recover some of their SSP costs.

  • They have until the end of the 2015-2016 financial year to recover SSP paid for sickness absences that occurred before the end of 2013-14.

  • Their record-keeping obligations associated with the PTS will also be abolished, but they will still need to maintain records for PAYE purposes and show they are meeting SSP obligations.


If you have any questions let us know!


If you are an Employer and need ongoing professional help with any staff/freelance issues, or a Contractor/Freelancer/Employee with a complicated employment related problem, then talk to us at The HR Kiosk  – a Human Resources Consultancy for small businesses – our fees are low to reflect the pressures on small businesses and you can hire us for as much time as you need.


Please note that the advice given on this website and by our advisers is guidance only and cannot be taken as an accurate, up to date or authoritative interpretation of the law.  It can also not be seen as specific advice for individual cases. Please also note that there are differences in legislation in Northern Ireland.

Invoice templates

Our invoice templates are professional and sharp. Use them to directly invoice your clients and get paid fast.

Business guides

From understanding expenses to starting a limited company, our downloadable business guides can help you.

Late payment reminder letters

If a client hasn't paid an invoice, download our late payment reminder templates and get that invoice paid fast.

The average cost of replacing staff is more than £30k. Here's what to ask yourself about your recruitment process if you struggle to hold onto decent staff.

You can be asked to deduct money from an employee's pay if they have been overpaid benefits by the DWP. This is called a Direct Earnings Attachment.

Deliveroo has indicated it’s prepared to provide riders with benefits, and has called for the creation of a new classification for gig economy workers.

The best accounting advice

Our accredited team are on hand to help you choose the best package

We understand that it can be difficult deciding whether or not to switch accountants, but at Crunch we’ll offer you fair, unbiased advice on what’s best for you.