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Small businesses lose £1,500 through sickness absence a year

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Sickness absence costs small businesses £1,500 a year, according to figures released by the Federation of Small Businesses (FSB).

Despite the fact that small businesses averaged 2.4 sickness days per employee each year, which is considerably lower than the average of 7.7 days. It can be very costly for small businesses.

It is leading to calls for the government to do more to help protect small businesses from the impact sickness absence can have.

A scheme already in place called the Percentage Threshold Scheme allows employers to claim back some of the statutory sick pay it gives out, though many small businesses say it is very confusing.

The FSB was set up in 1974 in order to protect the interests of small firms and the self employed.

John Walker, national chairman of the FSB, said: “The government must provide a small employers relief for statutory sick pay in the same way they do for statutory maternity pay so those small businesses that experience a member of staff on long-term sickness absence, are not hampered and are given the support they need.”