Small employers may be offered a sick pay rebate for effectively managing workers on sickness absence, under proposed reforms to statutory sick pay rules.

The Government is looking at extending eligibility for statutory sick pay to workers earning below the current threshold of £118 per week.

This would include around two million workers who are currently not eligible.

To help smaller employers manage the change, the proposed measures include offering a rebate to those that demonstrate best practice in supporting staff on sickness absence.

Matt Hancock, health secretary, said:

"We need to remove the barriers that stop people with disabilities or health conditions from reaching their full potential - these steps will help us achieve that.

"Businesses will also benefit from being able to retain talent, and build workplaces that support the physical and mental health needs of their employees."

Matthew Fell, chief UK policy director of the Confederation of British Industry, added:

"Many employers know that a well-thought-out health and wellbeing strategy can help boost performance and make their company a better place to work.

"Firms look forward to working with government to develop health and wellbeing approaches that work for business and for employees."

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