The proposals would allow employers exemption from operating statutory sick pay rules if they pay wages or occupational sick pay at or above the statutory sick pay rate. The proposals would allow greater flexibility to employers, and cut back on administration. Employees' underlying entitlement to statutory sick pay would not be affected.
In answer yesterday to a parliamentary question Mr Lilley said:
'The proposed arrangement would particularly benefit employers with occupational sick pay schemes by removing the need to keep two sets of records. It would also have the advantage of including smaller employers who do not have a formal occupational sick pay scheme, but who offer more generous pay when employees are off sick.
The new arrangements would be implemented by means of an order under the Deregulation and Contracting Out Act 1994. The consultation is a necessary part of the order-making process.
There will be a further opportunity to comment this Spring if a report is laid before the scrutiny committees in both houses of parliament.