It doesn’t matter how well you look after yourself, at some point or another, you’re going to wind up getting sick. And that’s going to take its toll on your finances. Being sick from time to time can be a problem. But it’s when your leave is longer term that real financial issues can set in. Thus, it’s important that everybody off work sick knows their rights.
It’s worth pointing out that many employers won’t dock your pay if you’ve only been absent a few days. But this isn’t always guaranteed and could mean that you end up going into the red. Here some tips for staying in the black while on sick leave.
Claim Sick Pay
As this statutory sick pay guide points out, sick pay is currently set by law at £88.45 a week. But there are some conditions you have to meet first. One, you have to be paid more than £112 a week to qualify. That means that you’re unlikely to get paid if you have just a part-time or weekend job. Two, the sick pay does not apply to the first three days of absence. This means that you could be out of pocket by a few pounds in your first week of illness. And three, statutory sick pay lasts only 28 weeks. People with long-term illnesses will have to seek alternative sources of income. With that said, sick pay is worth claiming if you plan on returning to work as soon as possible.
While you’re at work and earning an income, you’re used to spending money pretty much however you please. But when you get sick, this all changes. All of a sudden, you have to start thinking about how you’ll budget. It all starts with creating a detailed plan of all your outgoings and looking for potential savings. The Money Advice Service has a budget planner you can use for free.
Create A Joint Finances Plan
If you live with other family members, it might be time to consider a joint finances plan. If one person is in work and another isn’t, budget for the both of you from one account. See how much money you have available from statutory sick pay and wages and go from there. When you work with your significant others, it’s much easier to coordinate saving and reduce bills.
Borrow And Swap
Many of the ways that we spend money are simple for our sheer convenience. You buy new movies on Play Store, rather than borrowing them from friends, for example. But this, of course, is not the cheapest strategy. A better idea is to coordinate with your friends and borrow their stuff. If they’ve got a DVD set that you’d like to watch, don’t download it or buy your own. Ask them if you can borrow it, and offer to give them one of your DVD sets in return.
Pause Your Pension
Pensions can be expensive. But employees in the UK have the opportunity to opt out. Ask the income earners in your household to stop their pension payments temporarily and boost their incomes.