Sick-pay cut considered

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Indy Politics
MINISTERS are considering cutting state support for statutory sick pay in an attempt to reduce total expenditure on the benefit of more than pounds 1bn, writes Colin Brown.

Sir Michael Partridge, permanent secretary of the Department of Social Security, confirmed yesterday that ministers were keeping the benefit under review. He was challenged by Alan Williams, Labour MP for Swansea West, during a meeting of the Commons Public Accounts Committee.

The amount employers are able to recover was reduced from 100 per cent to 80 per cent in 1991. Employees no longer need a sick note from their GPs for the first seven days of absence from work, under the system of self-certification policed by the employers.

But ministers believe employers need greater incentive to be more rigorous in checking claims for sick pay by their workers. They are considering a further cut in the amount the employers can recover from the state as part of an overall long-term review of social security spending.