Introduce sick pay rebates for small firms impacted by long Covid says FSB

The Government should reintroduce a Statutory Sick Pay (SSP) rebate for small firms with staff who are on long-term sick leave, the Federation of Small Businesses (FSB) says.

Daphne Doody-Green, head of CIPD Northern England, said: “We believe that the Government needs to make SSP much more generous and bring it in line with the National Living Wage."

The organisation said if long Covid numbers increase it’s likely to have a significant impact on small employers, small business owners and the self-employed.

Claire Reading, development manager for the FSB in South Yorkshire, East Yorkshire and the Humber, said “the health impact of the pandemic is still very real”.

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She said: “The introduction of a Statutory Sick Pay (SSP) rebate for small firms whose staff are absent due to COVID-19 was welcome support from the Government.

“However, capped at two weeks, this fails to support the many small businesses who have staff suffering from long Covid.

“The Government should re-introduce a general SSP rebate for small firms with staff who are on long-term sick leave.”

The Chartered Institute of Personnel and Development (CIPD) believes SSP needs to be more generous.

Daphne Doody-Green, head of CIPD Northern England, said: “We believe that the Government needs to make SSP much more generous and bring it in line with the National Living Wage. The very low level of SSP currently means many people cannot afford to take time off when they are ill, and this contributes to many people with long-term health problems falling out of employment completely.”

She added: “More people are likely to suffer from long Covid over the coming months, so employers need to have plans in place for staff affected by it and advise managers on how to best support those individuals.”

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