Employee Benefit Summit 2011: Sick pay is a privilege, not a right

Sick pay is a privilege, not a right, according to Dr Sayeed Khan, board member of the Health and Safety Executive.

Speaking at the Employee Benefits Summit 2011, Khan, who is also a special professor in occupational health at the University of Nottingham, explained employers should make it a clear policy that occupational sick pay is a benefit that could stop if suitable work can be found for an individual.

“Employers should use discretion to arrange the return to work of an employee,”†said Khan.

He added that it is essential for employees to stay in touch with their GPs while on sick leave, who can then complete a fit note detailing the work that they are able to do.

Also key to an employee’s rehabilitation is for their employer to contact GPs with details of suitable work that an individual can undertake on their return to work and the need to understand the reasons behind sickness absence.†

Khan explained that return-to-work interviews can have a huge impact on improving the levels of absence within organisations, and on average can be worth one day per employee per year.

Read more articles from the Employee Benefits Summit 2011