SSP reforms: The impacts on your business04 Apr 2014
Starting from April 6, the introduction of an independent assessment service means that employers will no longer be able to reclaim any SSP back from the government, following a review that found that a lack of access to occupational health advice was one of the biggest barriers to people returning to work after illness.
Uri Pawlowski of Kuits’ Employment team explains: “Previously, an employer was entitled to recover some of the SSP paid to employees under the Percentage Threshold Scheme. If the SSP paid out in a single month exceeded a certain percentage of the Class 1 National Insurance Contributions in that month, the amount over this threshold was recoverable.”
The PTS scheme will be abolished and the funding applied to a new scheme to help employees who have been incapacitated for four weeks or more get back to work.
The new Health and Work Service will make independent health and work advice available to employers and employees and serve a dual purpose:
- Advice: Employers, employees and GPs will have access to a phone line and website to receive advice and assistance with identifying issues, adjustments and help with common obstacles preventing a return to work.
- Assessment: Once an employee reaches, or is expected to reach, four weeks of sickness absence, they can be referred by their GP or employer for an assessment by an occupational health professional. This will identify obstacles preventing a return to work and measures that would facilitate this. The employee will receive a return to work plan to help them return to work, and this will be shared with the employee, employer, and GP.
“Employers will still be able to make claims for reimbursement of SSP under the PTS until the end of the 2015/16 tax year,” Pawlowski continues. “SSP record-keeping will also be abolished. However, employers will still be required to keep sickness records for PAYE purposes.”
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