FSB Study Shows Sickness Absence Costing Small Firms £1,500 Annually

New data released by the Federation of Small Business (FSB) states that in the last one-year illness related non-attendance has cost small companies an average of £1,500 each, while for almost 9% it cost not less than £5,000. Pointing to this needless cost affecting the normal functioning and growth of small firms, the FSB has recommended the Government to initiate a relief for them, which can aid them in reclaiming their statutory sick pay (SSP).

The FSB reasons that £1,500 loss to small firms yearly due to illness related non-attendance is too much, hence a relief formed by the Government with the per year National Insurance Contributions bill of under £45,000 for reclaiming SSP will help them tremendously. The FSB also suggests that the procedures and computations for using this relief should be similar to that of the mandatory maternity pay.

The study by FSB further showed that prolonged illness and its related non-attendance did not very often bother very small companies. However when employees did take long leaves due to illness, it badly affected their working and cost small firms heavily. The FSB cited their survey, ‘Voice of Small Business’ which noted that on an average small companies faced only 2.4 days of illness related non-attendance per staff per year which is less than half of the nation-wide average of 7.7 days per staff per year. The FSB also claimed that 25% of firms admitted during the survey that they did not face even a single absence due to illness while 81% confessed to not being bothered by long, continued non-attendance of staff due to illness. During the study 40% of the small companies admitted that handling illness related non-attendance and leave claim were the two most challenging features of work law.

The FSB further discussed the point that in the present circumstances using the Percentage Threshold Scheme for computing the amount of SSP that can be reclaimed is quite confusing for quite a few small companies. These companies will either lose considerable time in doing complex computations or pay to hire specialists to do this computing work to reclaim their SSP.

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