It has been revealed that 1.4 million female employees earn less than £118 a week and therefore do not qualify for statutory Sick Pay (SSP).
This has been discovered through the Trade Union Congress analysis. It also found that more than two-thirds (69 per cent) of the two million workers who are not eligible for SSP are women.
The TUC believes women are most at risk of not qualifying for SSP as they are more likely “to be stuck in low-paid and insecure work, also because women are more likely to work part time due to caring responsibilities.”
Frances O’Grady, TUC general secretary said:
No one should worry about falling into debt or struggling to pay their bills when they’re ill.
It’s not right that women and insecure workers are most likely to miss out on sick pay – just because they are low earners.
The Government needs to get on and protect every worker if they fall sick.
In July the Government proposed consultation to discuss decreasing the threshold of eligibility for SSP. This could see an addition of two million people to the SSP as well as adding to the workload of HR departments.
On the 15th of July 2019, former Work and Pensions Secretary, Amber Rudd, and Matt Hancock, Secretary of State for Health and Social Care proposed new measures to ensure that, for the first time, the lowest paid staff are eligible for SSP.
This consultation comes after a report was issued by the Department for Work and Pensions about the rate of sickness within the workplace. Of those who have a long-term sick absence (LTSA) that lasts longer than a year, almost half (44 per cent) do not return to work. Each year, over 100,000 people leave work following an LTSA.
The consultation will end on the 7th of October, with the TUC urging the Government to end the minimum earning threshold for SSP.