Sick Leave & Statutory Sick Pay

When your employee is sick, the first thing to check is the contract of employment. In most cases, this will state that the employer will only pay Statutory Sick Pay. In some cases, the contract may promise full or half pay up to a maximum number of days off.

If the contract says SSP only, we would normally deduct a day’s pay for each sick day. If the employee has long service, and has never been sick before, you may decide to pay in full anyway.

SSP could run for up to 28 weeks, during which time we can put a temp on the payroll, normally at no extra charge.

SSP Rules

If your employee is sick for 4 or more calendar days in a row, Statutory Sick Pay might be payable. We can calculate the entitlement for you as soon as we have the dates. If this is the first time sickness has arisen, the following rules normally apply:

  • SSP is only payable for normal working days.
  • The first 3 working days of absence are normally unpaid. These are called ‘Waiting Days’.
  • SSP kicks in on the 4th day of absence (but see special rules below for Coronavirus Covid-19).

The amount of SSP payable is currently £99.35 per week for everyone, regardless of the number of days normally worked, provided normal earnings are at least £123 gross per week. If earnings are below £123, no SSP is payable. Instead, we give the employee an SSP1 form to take to their local benefits office.

If your employee is ill again for 4 or more calendar days within 8 weeks of this first absence, SSP will kick in right away. Waiting days will not apply.

Sick Notes

All employees can sign themselves off for the first 7 calendar days.  After that, you can request a doctor's note if you want.  It is good practice to ask for sick notes, although employers can use their discretion. 

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