Statutory sick pay
By law, employers must pay statutory sick pay (SSP) to employees and workers when they meet the 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.
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.
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
Someone who is not entitled to statutory sick may might be entitled to benefits or financial support to help with living costs.
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: