British workers are paid £393 per month if they are employed full time – a total of £94.25 per week – and find themselves unable to work due to illness. The ongoing coronavirus pandemic now means ill workers get paid from day one, not day four of sickness.
Employers can also choose to pay employees through an occupational scheme, and the rates of payment vary from company to company.
Residents across Europe have varying ways of how to get sick pay.
Some workers are paid by the government, much like the UK. Others are paid through insurance schemes or directly by the employer.
However, most European countries inside and outside the EU have a substantial monetary back up from the government in case of illness.
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Almost every country requires a sick-note, approved by a doctor, to be given to the place of employment within a certain period of time for sick pay to be offered.
The average worker across Europe receives 65 percent of their salary as pay during a week of sick leave.
In Denmark, after 14 days, the local authority pays instead of the employer, at a rate of 90 percent of the worker’s salary.
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Belgium gives its citizens guaranteed full salary for up to 30 days of illness.
Going one step ahead of their neighbours, German workers are paid their full salary for six weeks, and following that are 70 percent of their salary until they are fit to return to work or forced to retire.
And across the pond in Norway, workers get 52 weeks full salary if they have a long term illness.
Low ranking countries alongside the UK include Estonia, Bulgaria and Slovakia.
The average wait for sick pay across Europe is three days.
In the UK, if you work and are not self employed, you are legally entitled to get Statutory Sick Pay as long as you:
- have started work with your employer
- are sick for 4 full days or more in a row, including non-working days
- earn on average at least £118 per week before tax
- follow your employer’s rules for getting sick pay
In 2018 the European Committee of Social Rights found the UK’s sick pay system was “manifestly inadequate” and is “not in conformity” with its legal obligations under the European Social Charter.
Health Secretary Matt Hancock has insisted that self-isolation on medical advice is “considered sickness for employment purposes”.
He added: “It’s a very important message for employers and for those who can go home and self-isolate as if they were sick because it’s for medical reasons.”
Advice from the Department of Work and Pensions reads: “Statutory Sick Pay is paid by employers, who will know the reason their staff are giving for not being at work and already have some discretion to accept different forms of evidence as proof of sickness.
“There is a range of support in place for those who do not receive Statutory Sick Pay, including Universal Credit and contributory Employment and Support Allowance.
“The move will be included in emergency legislation to deal with coronavirus.”
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