People often ask us for advice on sick pay they haven’t received but to which they thought they were entitled.
It seems that some unscrupulous employers avoid paying sick pay to people who are too ill to work. They do this by using tactics such as taking them off rotas and cutting their wages.
People are entitled to be paid if they are off work for four working days or more and earn more than £112 a week. However, some employers are exploiting the confusion surrounding the rules on statutory sick pay and occupational sick pay.
Tactics often used by employers include:
• Cancelling staff shifts after they call in sick, so that it looks as if they aren’t intended to be working;
• Reducing staff members’ working hours so they don’t meet the £112 threshold;
• Saying that a GP’s note is needed for even a few days off. In fact, people can actually self-certify for up to seven days.
Statutory Sick Pay is the Government’s minimum level of pay for employees who are absent from work due to illness. To qualify, the employee must earn at least £112 per week and provide proof of sickness for absence exceeding 7 days. Occupational Sick Pay is where an organisation chooses to provide sick pay that is more generous than the statutory minimum.
With the cold and flu season still under way, Citizens Advice is urging people who are too ill to work to check their sick pay eligibility and to seek advice if their employer won’t pay.
For further help, visit www.citizensadvice.org.uk, telephone 03444 111 444 or drop in to your nearest Citizens Advice. For locations and opening hours see www.citizensadvice.org.uk/local/oxfordshire-south-vale
Citizens Advice Oxfordshire South and Vale is an independent charity. Our 150 skilled volunteer advisers and 10 staff advise over 8,000 clients each year.