Statutory Sick Pay UK

11 March 2021

In the UK when your employees are absent from work due to illness they are usually entitled to Statutory Sick Leave (SSL) and Statutory Sick Pay (SSP).

What do I do if my employees are sick?

When an employee is unable to work due to sickness for up to seven consecutive days (including non-working days) they can complete a self-certification form which you, the employer, should issue.

After seven consecutive days of sickness, your employee will need to give you a ‘Fit Note’ (sometimes called a ‘sick note’) which they will need to obtain from their hospital doctor or General Practitioner (GP).

What if an employee is absent from work for a long time?

If an employee is absent due to illness for more than four weeks, they may be considered ‘long term sick’.

Who is eligible for Statutory Sick Pay?

An employee who is off sick may be entitled to Statutory Sick Pay (SSP) provided:
• they are classed as an ‘employee’ and have carried out work you, the employer;
• they have had a continuous period of sickness of four or more consecutive days in a row (which can include non-working days such as weekends and Public Holidays);
• days for which the employee receives SSP are qualifying days (i.e. days they would normally work);
• their earnings are at least £118 a week;
• they haven’t already received the maximum amount of SSP (28 weeks); and
• they have given you evidence of their incapacity to work (if you require it) in the form of self-certification or doctor’s note.
Employees who don’t qualify for SSP may be entitled to other financial support from the Government’s UK Employment and Support Allowance (ESA).

Statutory Sick Pay (SSP) Rates

SSP starts on the fourth day an employee is unable to work due to sickness (including weekends and Public Holidays).

SSP is currently paid at the rate of £95.85 per week and is paid up to a maximum of 28 weeks – although employers may voluntarily top this up to full or part pay.

There is no ability for the employer to recover sick pay from the UK government.

Sickness Policy

You need to ensure you include your sickness policy in a written statement of employment particulars and give a copy to all employees. This can be in an Employee Handbook or Contract of Employment.

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