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CONSULTATION ON EMPLOYERS' EXEMPTIONS FROM STATUTORY SICK PAY

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Consultation on plans allowing employers exemption from statutory sick pay rules from April 1997, have been announc...
Consultation on plans allowing employers exemption from statutory sick pay rules from April 1997, have been announced by secretary of state for social security Peter Lilley.

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 exemption scheme ensures that employees' rights during periods of sickness are fully protected by retaining the underlying liability to pay statutory sick pay, while reducing administrative burdens on businesses'.

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.

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