Small firms make rebate plea as UK loses 149 million working days to sickness

Press Releases 29 Apr 2022

FSB responds to latest ONS figures on working days lost due to sickness or injury

Responding to new Office for National Statistics (ONS) figures showing that 149.3 million working days were lost because of sickness or injury in the UK last year, with Covid-19 accounting for nearly one in four of all absences, Federation of Small Businesses (FSB) Policy and Advocacy Chair Tina McKenzie said:  

“The average cost of sickness absence, including finding cover, stands at more than £3,000 a year for small employers, equating to £5 billion across the small business community as a whole.

“With operating costs surging in the round, small firms need more financial assistance to go on doing right by their staff when they’re unwell.

“On the day that the Government has announced yet more help for big energy-intensive companies, we’re asking policymakers to take forward our joint proposal with the TUC for a small business sick pay rebate which will support those who have received no assistance whatsoever with utility bills.

“Allowing small community businesses to recover sick pay costs will give them that much more space to invest, recruit and retain staff, spurring our economic recovery from the grass roots up.”

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Matt Dickinson

Matt Dickinson

Deputy Head of Media & Communications

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About FSB

As the UK’s largest business support group, FSB is the voice of the UK’s small businesses and the self-employed. Established over 40 years ago to help its members succeed in business, FSB is a non-profit making and non-party political organisation that’s led by its members, for its members. As the UK’s leading business campaigner, FSB is focused on delivering change which supports smaller businesses to grow and succeed.

FSB offers members a wide range of vital business services, including access to finance, business banking, legal advice and support along with a powerful voice in Government. Each year FSB also runs the UK’s Celebrating Small Business Awards. More information is available at www.fsb.org.uk. You can follow us on twitter @fsb_policy and on Instagram @fsb_uk.