The government has been called on to introduce a small employer’s relief for the recovery of statutory sick pay. 

According to a survey by the Federation of Small Businesses (FSB), employee sickness cost small businesses an average of £1,500 per year.

The survey also revealed that 40% of small business employers believe that dealing with holiday entitlement and sickness absence was one of the most difficult aspects of employment law.

“Small firms act like a tight knit family and value the contribution their staff bring to the business, said FSB national chairman John Walker. “And research shows that staff in smaller firms are often more committed and loyal.

“But sickness absence is one of the most complex pieces of employment law they have to deal with,” he added. “It can also be costly with small businesses paying around £1,500 over the past 12 months.”

He urged the government to provide a small employers relief for statutory sick pay similar to statutory maternity pay to support small businesses that experience a member of staff on long-term sickness absence.

According to the Department of Work and Pensions, over 150 million days are lost to sickness absence every year.