People who are still paid for taking sick leave as part of their employment contracts are likely to take advantage of the system, an expert has suggested.

Small businesses can often find that this leads to a rise in absenteeism, which would not be the case of statutory sick pay is withdrawn, noted employment solicitor at didlaw Karen Jackson.

“In your contracts you shouldn’t have contractual sick pay, because in a way, it encourages people to think ‘oh, I’ll have a day off, what’s the downside to me?'” Ms Jackson explained.

She highlighted that there are various different reasons as to why people are sick, but it would be wrong to assume that they are all legitimate.

Research commissioned by PricewaterhouseCoopers has revealed that one in three employees in the UK has lied in order to take time off work.

The majority (61 per cent) admitted this was because they are simply bored and depressed with their job.