As from the 6th April 2014, it is not longer possible for employers to reclaim statutory sick pay (SSP) from the government. Previously, employers could reclaim any amount of SSP which exceeded 13% of its national insurance contributions in the month.
The reasoning behind this is that it will encourage employers to address the issue of the long term sick employee. It is estimated this could save the government as much as £50million per year.
In 2015, the government intends to introduce a new Health & Work Service which will help employees and employers put together plans to facilitate a return to work, but until then, it is for the employer to bear the cost of the absent employee. There is now more reason than ever for the employer to address the long term sick employee.