Official figures show a million workers are off sick for more than a month every year, with new Royal London research showing half (52%) of workers would worry about their income if they were to become too ill to work for longer than a month. 42% do not think £92 a week would be enough to live on if they were to go off sick for a long period of time.
Nearly two-thirds (60%) found their employer’s sick pay policies difficult to understand, with one in six workers not knowing what their employer’s policy is. Employees are entitled to £92.05 a week Statutory Sick Pay (SSP) for up to 28 weeks, yet two in five (42%) didn’t think this was enough to live on if they were off sick for more than a year.
Employers may enhance SSP, but different companies have different policies – a quarter of those surveyed thought the opposite, and mistakenly believed sick pay policies were the same across all companies and industries. Some employers offer contractual sick pay, which is more generous than SSP and you could be entitled to it from the first day of sick leave.
The average UK worker stands to lose almost £450 in pay if they were off sick for a week without contractual sick pay. Employees are therefore being urged to think about how they would manage their finances if they were faced with this situation.