The Government’s response to the ‘Health is everyone’s business’ consultation paper is expected shortly, and should contain proposals to reform statutory sick pay according the Jennifer Heigham, head of delivery of the work and health unit at the Department of Work and Pensions.
Speaking at Corporate Adviser’s virtual Workplace Protection and Wellbeing digital conference Heigham set out the government’s agenda to tackle ill-health related job losses. She also spoke about how this ongoing initiative has been become a more central plank of government policy following the Covid pandemic.
This unit works across the DWP and Department of Health and Social care, works with a number of bodies including Public Health England and the NHS.
Heigham said that the feedback from the consultation, which closed at the end of 2019 showed widespread support for government proposals, particular for measures to improve statutory sick pay, and to make it more flexible.
Although she says she was unable to give exact details this was likely to follow proposals set out in the paper.
She says while the government has made emergency changes to both Statutory Sick Pay and the evidence reporting system it is clear that the events of this year have strengthened the case for reforming SSP to ensure it is more flexible, simpler to administer and more responsive to both employer and employees need.
Heigham also says the government will also set out plans to improve the legal protection and support for employees, to provide better advice and support for employers and to improve access to quality occupational health services.
Heigham says Covid may have delayed the response to this consultation but it has pushed the issue of employee health up the agenda.
She says: “Covid-19 has brought a renewed focus on the package of measures contained in this consultation. The pandemic has had a fundamental impacted all parts of society, including the world of work.”
Heigham was unable to tell the delegates exactly when the government response on this would come indicated it would be in the near future. SHe reiterated that the DWP was “massive and important contribution” the insurance industry paid in this area, in particularly with helping managing rehab and back to work initiatives.
She added that the unit would continue to work with employers, insurers and those working in public health to help make workplaces healthier. This would continue to be an evidence-driven approach she said, which aligns the interests of individuals, companies, insurers and society.
The post CA Workplace Protection Summit: Govt plans reform of Statutory Sick Pay appeared first on Corporate Adviser.