Managing sickness absence on payroll

According to Reward Strategy, figures suggest that sickness absence in the UK rose to a new high in 2022.

The data shows that 185.6 million working days were lost, with the most common reason being minor illnesses, which accounted for 29.3 per cent of all occurrences of sickness absence.

With employee absences on the rise, payroll departments across the country can be heard sighing with frustration.

Payroll can often be a complicated task, and employee absences can make this task an even harder one to complete.

Managing sickness absence efficiently is essential to ensure the well-being of the employees and smooth-running of the business.

When handling sickness absences on payroll, there are specific guidelines and procedures that employers must follow.

Statutory Sick Pay (SSP)

Statutory sick pay (SSP) is a legal requirement for employers who must provide financial support to employees who are off work due to sickness. Currently, the rate for SSP is £109.40 and should be paid by employers for up to 28 weeks.

To qualify for SSP, employees must meet the following criteria:

  • Classed as an employee and done work for their employer
  • Earn an average of at least £123 per week
  • Been ill for at least four days in a row (including non-working days)

SSP should be paid from day four of the employee’s illness. If an employee is off for more than seven days in a row (including non-working days) then proof of absence from a GP or other medical professional is required.

Record keeping and reporting

Employers should maintain an accurate record of all employee sickness absences which will keep them compliant with UK laws. Employers should maintain records of:

  • The dates of employees’ absences
  • Reasons for absences (if given)
  • SSP made to each employee

Sickness records must be kept for three years after the tax year that they relate to.

Managing employee absences on payroll can be a complex process, but understanding the intricacies of SSP and keeping thorough and accurate records will help navigate these challenges effectively.

For further help with managing employee absence on payroll, contact us today.

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