Supporting the Sick

Newsletter issue - February 2015

It is such a pain when a key employee is off sick. You are required to pay that person statutory sick pay (SSP) once he or she has been absent from work for four days. To add insult to injury you can't reclaim any of the SSP paid since 6 April 2014. Payments of SSP made for periods before 6 April 2014 can be reclaimed from HMRC where the SSP exceeds 13% of the class 1 NI paid to HMRC for the month.

If your employee has been absent from work because of sickness for 28 days or more, or is expected to be absent for that time, you can pay for treatments designed to help the individual get back to work. The treatment can include a range of interventions such as talking therapies for stress conditions or physiotherapy for physical injuries. From 1 January 2015 the first £500 of such treatment costs per employee is tax and NI free for the employee, and tax deductible for your business.

However, to qualify as tax-free the medical treatment must be recommended in writing as part of an occupational health assessment undertaken by a healthcare professional. One way to get such an assessment for your employee is to apply through the website: fitforwork.org. That website also offers other advice for employers and employees about sickness absence.

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