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HR Tip: Refusing SSP

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These questions are being answered by Learn HR, a market leader in the provision of HR and payroll training and nationally-recognised professional qualifications.


Q: Can I refuse to pay Statutory Sick Pay (SSP) to a man if I doubt that his self-certified sickness was genuine?

A: Yes, provided you have carried out a thorough investigation and interviewed the man. You should give him a note showing the days he was absent, the days for which you are paying any SSP, the amount of SSP being paid for each day and the reason for not paying for the rest. If he wishes to object he should do so by means of your grievance procedure.

If he remains dissatisfied you should direct him to the Inland Revenue where an adjudication officer will take evidence from each party and make a decision.

There are further appeal stages within the Inland Revenue but I suggest that, if the adjudication officer finds for the employee, you pay up but make clear to everyone that you will go through this process if ever you have serious doubts about a sickness certificate because the decision is then handed out to a neutral party.

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Annie Hayes

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