Research by insurer LV= suggests that some 11 million employees in the UK have no company-paid sick leave entitlement. So if an employee from within the above grouping cannot work through illness or injury for any period of time, their only income would likely be that provided by state benefits alone.
The insurer rightly points to the self-employed and those on zero-hours contracts as the grouping most exposed to this issue. Yet that overlooks that many employers – often established businesses with sizable workforces – offer nominal or no sick pay cover to their employees. And many more have a sick pay policy that is outdated and probably not fit for purpose.
The bottom line is that this is an issue that far too few employees fully understand. The reality is that state benefits are not always easy to claim, sometimes delayed and capped at a fairly low level. For an idea of the risks of such an absence occurring – and the impact on the family income level – please read our post from last year.
It is also worth highlighting that employees generally expect at least some support from their employers in such situations. It is therefore good for both engagement and retention if that support is provided, promoted and fully understood by the workforce.
We would therefore encourage employers of all sizes to review their sick-pay policies to find a solution that provides some reassurance to their employees. For those wishing to review their sick-pay options, please contact your usual Jelf consultant.