§ Mr. Ashdown
asked the Secretary of State for Social Services how many fines have been levied on firms found to be operating the statutory sick pay scheme incorrectly since the scheme's inception; and how many of these cases were from small businesses.
§ Dr. Boyson
No employer has been prosecuted for failing to operate the statutory sick pay scheme correctly. The scheme has been running for only eight months. An important part of the Department's current programme of visits to employers is, where necessary, to give advice and help on the correct handling of the scheme in order to avoid future misunderstandings and mistakes.