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PRO-RATA COMPANY SICK PAY WAITING PERIODS FOR PART-TIME EMPLOYEES

PRORATA COMPANY SICK PAY WAITING PERIODS FOR P...

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Our company operates an organisational sick pay scheme that entitles workers to full pay after they have been off sick for more than three days. It has been suggested that this waiting period should be adjusted pro-rata for part-time employees. We don't want to do anything that serves as detrimental to our part-time employees (Part-Time Workers Regulations 2000) but by the same token it has been argued we are not being fair to our full time workforce when everything else e.g. annual leave entitlement etc is pro-rated for part-timers. I believe there are no distinctions made between full and part-time workers in the 'waiting period' for SSP. Should we simply apply the same principle? Any advice or shared experience on developing policy on this point would be much appreciated.

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By Taradaynes
21st Mar 2011 20:29

If you pro-rata something you usually reduce it - e.g. with holidays. So technically if you pro-rata the waiting days you'd be reducing them - so someone who works 2.5 days per week (50%) would only have 1.5 waiting days (50%). Which is actually more advantageous to them! If you are thinking that someone has to be off for 3 of their normal working days (which is what I assume you are referring to), this would mean, for example, that someone who works Monday, Wednesday  & Friday would have to be sick from Monday to Friday as waiting days (5 days sick), whereas someone who works just Mon/Tues/Weds would only have be sick from Mon to Weds as waiting days , which is 3 days anyway. So not only would it be inconsistent in effect, some people would effectively be treated less favourably, & I would argue that this would be seen as breach of the Part-time Workers Regs.

If full-time staff are happy with the arrangement as it affects them, then it won't make any practical difference what you do with part-timers - i.e. it is hardly being unfair on full-timers as they are not suffering any detriment! So I would suggest that you treat everyone the same rather than run the risk of a claim under the Part-time Workers Regs.

Hope this helps,

Best wishes

Tara

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By ANNE YOUNG
24th Mar 2011 01:40

Thank you for your response and detailing your thoughts on this issue. You are correct in assuming that the waiting days for company sick pay refer to rostered working days. I am reassured that you have raised similar concerns to those I have expressed on this proposal and as such, hope to influence the policy development in the manner you suggest, i.e. apply no distinction between full and part-time workers in qualifying periods. I also believe that in view of the variety of part=time working arrangements we currently have in place, the proposal to pro-rata waiting periods could create a payroll adminstrative nightmare!

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