Extending Statutory Sick Pay to all firms even more urgent as Test Track and Trace is launched

As the Test Track and Trace system gets underway, the government should extend 14 days of Statutory Sick Pay (SSP) support to all businesses to maintain the economic recovery, the Recruitment and Employment Confederation (REC) has said.

In a letter to the Chancellor, Rishi Sunak, the REC said that extending SSP, especially to recruitment agencies which typically have high volumes of temporary workers, is necessary so that workers who are asked to self-isolate can do so safely, thus helping to prevent a damaging second wave of the virus.

The REC also highlighted the important role the recruitment industry will play in tackling longer-term unemployment and called on the government to provide clarity on the future of the Jobs Retention Scheme and whether it will continue to apply to temporary workers. Additionally, the REC asked the government to work with the business community to develop a new approach for supporting Limited Company Directors, who need support if they are to drive the economic recovery.

Neil Carberry, chief executive of the REC said:

“Yesterday’s’s launch of the Government’s Test Track and Trace programme brings Statutory Sick Pay (SSP) right up the business agenda. All staff will need support if they are to self-isolate, but we also have to help businesses to meet this cost while the economy recovers from lockdown. 

“We have today written to the Chancellor to ask that 14 days of SSP support is extended to all employers. This is essential to maintaining economic recovery alongside a high level of track and trace-driven self-isolation. Additionally, we have asked for HMRC to address remaining issues with the CJRS rules and to set out how the furlough will continue to work (or not) for those on temporary contracts after 1st August. We have again raised the issue of support for limited company directors, who will be at the heart of driving growth.

“Much has been achieved to support business – but there is a way to go to ensure that companies can build the jobs recovery.”