Millions of UK workers unaware of sick pay realities Millions of UK workers unaware of sick pay realities

Millions of UK workers unaware of sick pay realities
16 Feb 2018

More than 2.5 million British workers are unaware they would face a significant salary shortfall if they fell sick and were unable to work.

Employees are entitled to statutory sick pay if they are too ill to work and are off for more than four days in a row.

But research from Direct Line Insurance reveals that only 4% know how much they are entitled to be paid in statutory sick pay - just £89.35 (US$127) a week, which is less than a fifth of the average UK weekly wage of £510 (US$726). Some 8% have never even heard of statutory sick pay.

In fact, many workers mistakenly assume their employer would continue to pay their full salary if they were ill, believing on average that they would receive it for three and a half months.

In reality, 43% of firms reduce an employee’s wages to statutory sick pay after two weeks of illness, with 16% switching after just four days.

One in five organisations that pay bonuses withhold them if an employee has been off work on long-term sick leave. A third of companies pay bonuses based on a pro-rata analysis of days worked, and 14% pay a discretionary reduced rate.

Almost a third of HR professionals said the qualifying period for their company sick pay schemes is between one and two years.

 Emma Woollacott

Emma Woollacott is a freelance business journalist. Her work has appeared in a wide range of publications, including the Guardian, the Times, Forbes and the BBC.

More than 2.5 million British workers are unaware they would face a significant salary shortfall if they fell sick and were unable to work.

Employees are entitled to statutory sick pay if they are too ill to work and are off for more than four days in a row.

But research from Direct Line Insurance reveals that only 4% know how much they are entitled to be paid in statutory sick pay - just £89.35 (US$127) a week, which is less than a fifth of the average UK weekly wage of £510 (US$726). Some 8% have never even heard of statutory sick pay.

In fact, many workers mistakenly assume their employer would continue to pay their full salary if they were ill, believing on average that they would receive it for three and a half months.

In reality, 43% of firms reduce an employee’s wages to statutory sick pay after two weeks of illness, with 16% switching after just four days.

One in five organisations that pay bonuses withhold them if an employee has been off work on long-term sick leave. A third of companies pay bonuses based on a pro-rata analysis of days worked, and 14% pay a discretionary reduced rate.

Almost a third of HR professionals said the qualifying period for their company sick pay schemes is between one and two years.

 Emma Woollacott

Emma Woollacott is a freelance business journalist. Her work has appeared in a wide range of publications, including the Guardian, the Times, Forbes and the BBC.

Leave a Reply

All blog comments are checked prior to publishing