From 6 April employers will no longer be able to reclaim statutory sick pay from the government, a change estimated to save it about £50 million a year. Ministers hope it will encourage employers to “shake out” long-term sick employees claiming benefit.
Coupled with employers moving towards non-payment of sick pay for between the first three and seven days of short term sickness absence, it means that sickness and ill-health will now be further weapons to intimidate workers.
The term “presenteeism” has been coined to describe workers who attend work when it is detrimental to their health but who are scared of losing their jobs if they go sick and don’t attend. ■