What is Statutory Sick Pay?
Statutory sick pay (SSP) is money paid by the employers to their unwell employees, in case the employees are sick and incapable to work for a period of 4 days or more in a row (including non-working days). Employees are required to get qualified for achieving SSP.
Statutory sick pay is calculated on a weekly basis. There is a standard rate of SSP currently set at £89.35 per week. This daily rate is calculated by dividing the appropriate weekly rate by the number of days in the week that the employee normally works. For SSP purposes, a week always begins on Sunday.
Statutory Sick Pay Calculator
* This Statutory Sick Pay calculator is only for reference purposes. For accurate and detailed report, please consult with an accountant. *
SSP is the minimum level of sick pay employers are obliged to pay to most employees who have been off sick for four or more consecutive days. The employer pays SSP as if it were normal pay, having deduced tax, national insurance contributions and any other deductions normally made from pay, e.g. pension contributions, trade union subscriptions and attachment of earnings.
You can get up to £94.25 per week Statutory Sick Pay (SSP) when you’re too sick to work. The amount will be paid up to 28 weeks by the employer. You’ll never get less than the statutory amount. If a company has sick pay scheme or occupational scheme then the employee can get more payment. For every employee it’s advisable to check the employment contract to get the details about SSP that the company will provide.
Applies to: England, Wales, Scotland and Northern Ireland
Age rules: There are no age rules
Type of benefit: Non means tested
Administered by: Your employer
Can I get Statutory Sick Pay?
Whether you’re a part-time worker or agency worker or working on a fixed term contract you should be eligible to get Statutory Sick Pay. But in order to qualify for the process your weekly average earning should be minimum £118. In case your earning is not enough as per the requirement or you’re a self-employed person, you could claim for Employment and Support Allowance as an alternate.
Who is entitled to sick pay?
A working person who is not self-employed is legally allowed to get Statutory Sick Pay (SSP) as long as you:
Have started working again with your employer
- are sick for complete 4 days or more in a row (along with non-working days)
- Your average weekly income is not less than £118 (before tax)
- do not comes under any of the unentitled groups
- follow the guidelines of your employer’s to achieve sick pay
- Still you’re allowed to SSP in case you work part-time or on a fixed-term agreement
If you’re an agency or casual worker and involved in working on a project at the time you get sick, you could be allowed to SSP till that project gets completed. In case you’re already contracted to any other project, you could be permitted to SSP till the end of that future project. You’re not allowed to SSP, in case you do not work while you get sick.
You’re still eligible for the sick pay when you’re on a zero hours agreement. You must have a clear conversation with your employer regarding the same. In case your employer disagrees to offer you the sick pay, you must ask him/her for the explanation. Once you’re not satisfied with the explanation you could ask for your nearest Citizens’ suggestion.
Check your contract
You might get an amount of £94.25 per week for up to 28 weeks with statutory sick pay, but your employer could pay your extra (they can’t pay you less). You must check your contract to properly understand what is written there about sick pay – This is known as ‘contractual sick pay’.
You should ask your employer or check your staff handbook on intranet in case you haven’t been given any contract.
Who isn’t entitled to Statutory Sick Pay
You won’t get SSP if you:
- are self-employed
- have already had SSP for 28 weeks (and the 28 weeks ended within the last 8 weeks)
- Had service and Support Allowance (ESA) in the past 12 weeks
- Receiving statutory maternity pay or maternity allowance
- If you’re pregnant, your baby is due in 4 weeks or less and your sickness is associated with pregnancy
- had a baby in the last 14 weeks (or the last 18 weeks in case your baby was born over 4 weeks early)
- If you’re in military service
- If any legal action has been taken against you (Police had taken you to the custody)
- If you’re an employee in agriculture (read about agricultural sick pay on GOV.UK)
Weekly rate for Statutory Sick Pay (SSP) is £94.25 till the 28 weeks. It is paid:
- For the days an employee normally works is known as ‘qualifying days’
- On the normal payday and in the similar way as incomes, subtracting tax with National Insurance contribution
Gov.UK website offers a convenient SSP calculator that can help you to work out the real amount you will pay.
Statutory Sick Pay Rate & Calculation
An employee’s normal weekly earnings play an important role in determining the Statutory Sick Pay. This would define which band they fall into.
The rate of statutory sick pay is £94.25 per week. As per the instruction applied on 6th April 2019, the employees whose income is not less than the amount required to be accountable for paying National Insurance Contribution.
First 3 succeeding days are not payable of the sickness but after that it is payable till the 28 weeks. After that time period an employee needs to demand the advantages of State Sickness.
An employee might not get qualified for the statutory sick pay although they can still qualify for the sickness, advantages from the DWP.
Employer will pay statutory sick pay. It is indirectly reclaimed from the state after demanding the Service Allowance. This decreases employers’ monthly class 1 National Insurance Donations.
Statutory sick pay is payable at a weekly rate divided by the number of succeeding days of that particular week. The qualifying days generally follow the usual pattern of working days, like Monday to Friday. There should be at least one qualifying day per week, it shouldn’t be fixed by reference to the days of sickness.
Both the employees and employers need to agree about setting the qualifying days, and these are to be incorporated within the contract. In case the contract is unable to show the qualifying days then if there is a dispute the court will generally elect the standard working week. In case this differs, the court will go for Wednesdays as the succeeding days.
For instance, in case an employee works from Monday to Friday and those are the succeeding days and on Tuesday he/she gets sick. In such case the employee cannot claim till Friday. If the 4th day of sickness falls on one of the succeeding days, then they might claim one-fifth amount of statutory sick pay for that day of sickness.
In case Wednesday is the only succeeding day and employee gets sick on Wednesday, they might demand the complete weekly amount for that particular day’s sickness.
Though if the employees get sick on any other day than Wednesday they won’t claim anything. In actuality, most of the employers would pay the employee their standard pay at the time of illness as a part of their employment contract.
When is SSP Payable?
Statutory sick pay is only payable for ‘qualifying days’. These are usually the days the employee normally works. However, the employer and the employee can agree which days count as qualifying days, including non-working days.
Statutory sick pay is not paid for the first three qualifying days in any period of incapacity for work (PIW) – these are also called waiting days. It is paid for the fourth qualifying days and for up to 28 weeks in any PIW. If an employee has two periods of incapacity which are separated by eight weeks (56 calendar days) or less, these are ‘linked’, i.e., they are treated as one PIW.
Note: With linked periods of incapacity there is no waiting period before SSP is paid in the second period (provided the three waiting days were served in the first PIW).
If an employee is still sick after 28 weeks (linked or unlinked) they can claim Employment and Support Allowance from the Department of Works and Pensions, i.e. the burden transfers from the employer to the state.
If your employer refuses to pay your sick pay
If your employer says that they’re unable to pay your sick pay, that means you’re not getting paid for something you’re actually allowed to. In that case you could take the necessary steps to get the money you’re payable.
You must contact HM revenue and Customs (HMRC) or HMRC’s Statutory Payments Disputes Team in case your employer refuses to pay you Statutory Sick Pay for that you’re actually entitled to.
HMRC employees’ enquiry line
Telephone: 0300 200 3500
Textphone: 0300 200 3212
Open Monday to Friday, 8am to 5pm.
HMRC Statutory Payments Disputes Team
Telephone: 03000 560630
Calls can cost up to 12p a minute from landlines, and between 3p and 45p a minute from mobiles.
If you need more help at any stage, contact your nearest Citizens Advice.