David Cameron is considering new plans to make workers save their own money to fund their sick pay, Downing Street has confirmed.
The controversial idea, first suggested by the Work and Pensions Secretary Iain Duncan Smith, is an attempt to replicate the US unemployment insurance scheme, which encourages workers to use personal accounts to save up money for unemployment or illnesses.
“We need to support the kind of products that allow people through their lives to dip in and out when they need the money for sickness or care or unemployment,” Duncan Smith said.
“We need to encourage people to save from day one but they need to know that they can get some of the money out when their circumstances change. This is not government policy but I am very keen to look at it, as a long-term way forward for the 21st century.”
The official spokeswoman for the Cameron confirmed the prime minister’s interest in considering the scheme.
“I think the PM shares the work and pensions secretary’s view that we should be doing more to encourage people to take personal responsibility for how they manage their affairs,” she said.