Statutory sick pay - Sick pay

Statutory sick pay

By law, employers must pay statutory sick pay (SSP) to employees and workers when they meet the eligibility criteria.

Eligibility criteria

An employee or worker is eligible for statutory sick pay if they:

  • have been off sick for at least 4 'qualifying days' in a row – these are days when they're usually required to work
  • earn on average at least £123 a week, before tax
  • have told their employer they're sick within any deadline the employer has set or within 7 days

Agency, casual and zero-hours workers are also entitled to statutory sick pay if they meet the eligibility criteria.

Fit notes

An employer might ask their employee for a fit note before they'll pay statutory sick pay.

A fit note is sometimes called a 'sick note'. It is a statement from a registered healthcare professional giving their medical opinion on a person's fitness for work.

An employee must get a fit note if they've been off sick for more than 7 calendar days.

Employers should be understanding if there's a delay getting a fit note. Employees might have difficulty getting a doctor's appointment.

Find out more about fit notes and proof of sickness

If someone's not eligible for statutory sick pay

If someone is not eligible for statutory sick pay, their employer must tell them why in writing. They can do this in either:

  • an SSP1 form
  • a letter or email

Find employer form SSP1: statutory sick pay on GOV.UK

Someone who is not entitled to statutory sick may might be entitled to benefits or financial support to help with living costs.

Find out about benefits and financial support on GOV.UK

How much statutory sick pay is

Statutory sick pay is £109.40 per week. It can be paid for up to 28 weeks.

An employer does not have to pay statutory sick pay for the first 3 qualifying days of sickness absence. These 3 days are called 'waiting days'.

Statutory sick pay is the minimum amount employers must pay. Some employers might pay more. If they do, this must be written in the contract or workplace policy.

It should also say in the contract or the organisation's policy whether the first 3 days of sickness absence are paid or unpaid.

If there's a problem with statutory sick pay

Contact HM Revenue and Customs (HMRC) statutory payment dispute team if you think your employer has:

  • not paid you statutory sick pay when you're eligible
  • paid you the wrong amount of statutory sick pay

More about statutory sick pay

You can find:

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