149.3 million working days were lost because of sickness or injury in the UK last year, with Covid-19 accounting for nearly one in four of all absences, according to new research from the New Office for National Statistics (ONS)
Small businesses are struggling under the pressure and are asking policy makers for a small business sick pay rebate. Federation of Small Businesses (FSB) Policy and Advocacy Chair Tina McKenzie commented: “The average cost of sickness absence, including finding cover, stands at more than £3,000 a year for small employers, equating to £5 billion across the small business community as a whole.
“With operating costs surging in the round, small firms need more financial assistance to go on doing right by their staff when they’re unwell.
“On the day that the Government has announced yet more help for big energy-intensive companies, we’re asking policymakers to take forward our joint proposal with the TUC for a small business sick pay rebate which will support those who have received no assistance whatsoever with utility bills.
“Allowing small community businesses to recover sick pay costs will give them that much more space to invest, recruit and retain staff, spurring our economic recovery from the grass roots up.”