Unfortunately, this is becoming increasingly common thanks to this little-known change in policy.
Last April, the government quietly stopped Statutory Sick Pay (SSP) reimbursements for businesses.
The reality is that long term sick leave can now cripple small businesses. Whereas before, there was the chance to reclaim a certain amount of sick pay, the new system offers no financial recompense whatsoever.
Instead, it promises to simply advise and help in getting sick employees back to work.
But no amount of advice can bring a seriously ill person back to work – and no amount of well-intentioned “help”, can stop a small business from huge financial losses.
If you’re a small business and you’re worried about this, you do have options. The key is to ask yourself some searching questions:
- If a member of my staff went off sick for a long period of time, could I afford to pay SSP? (currently £87.55 per week for up to 28 weeks)
- Could I save each month for a sick pay fund?
- Or, could I budget for an insurance policy to cover these costs and protect my business long term?
Insurance policies like these aren’t always cheap but they do provide complete peace of mind. A Key Man Insurance policy protects you against the loss of a key member of staff – by paying sick pay or finding temporary cover. A Group Income Protection Policy is more general cover which would pay out SSP for any member of staff who goes off sick.
Uncomfortable as those questions may be, it’s vital that all businesses consider them this year.
As always, I’m available for no obligation advice on 0800 690 6990 – but if you want to do your business one good deed today, consider these questions, at the very least.
Till next time,
PS UPDATE: As of Summer 2015 I can now offer a specialist policy called Sick Pay, designed to replace the income the government has stopped. Sick Pay cover helps bridge the gap between a member of staff going off sick and your long term protection plan paying out. This is a godsend to small businesses who can be crippled by these unexpected costs. Read more here or give me a call on 0800 690 6990.