Sick Leave & Sick Pay Entitlement

When employees need to temporarily go off work, they can take sick leave. During this time off they may be able to use their Statutory Sick Pay entitlement.

Statutory Sick Pay Entitlement

The amount for Statutory Sick Pay entitlement (SSP) is £88.45 per week and can last for up to 28 weeks if the employee is too ill to work. Employers with a sick pay entitlement scheme can give more than the statutory amount, but not less.

Employees will typically receive pay for days they should have been working, except for the first 3 days (unless the employee has received SSP in the last 8 weeks and is eligible for it again). SSP is paid in the same way as wages, and Tax and National Insurance are deducted from the Statutory Sick Pay entitlement.

If the employee is receiving Statutory Maternity Pay or has already received the maximum amount of SSP (28 weeks), then they are not eligible to receive SSP. To be eligible for SSP, employees must:

  • Have a status of employee and have previously worked for the employer
  • Have been unwell for a period of four days (this still includes non-working days)
  • Earn a minimum of £112 a week (pre-tax)
  • Tell your employers within 7 days or prior to a deadline they set out

Some employers will require a written notice of sickness but it not mandatory. A doctor’s “sick note” or “fit note” is only needed if the employee is sick more than 7 days in a row.

Please note that for agricultural workers, there are different sick pay entitlement rules.

Sick Leave and Paid Holiday

If an employee does not take all of his statutory holiday entitlement because of an illness, this entitlement can be carried over the next year.

Employees that get ill just before or during a holiday can take this time as sick leave instead. Employers cannot force employees to take their annual leave if they are eligible for sick pay entitlement, but the employee can choose to take annual leave instead of sick leave, particularly if they do not have sick pay entitlement.

When an employee has to change their holiday to sick leave, if they receive SSP, this pay will count towards the total amount of holiday pay they have received.

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