The Right to Statutory Sick Pay

Site updated on February 17, 2020

The Right to Statutory Sick Pay

Your employer is not obliged to provide you with a sick pay scheme. There is no legislation which requires any employer to pay you Company sick pay. Your Employer is however required to provide you with a statement of your employment terms, which includes details of sick pay from the firm. You should be given this information in your first 2 months.

For information about any company sick pay scheme, refer to your contract or company handbook, or talk to a Union Representative.

If you are excluded from your Company sick pay scheme for any reason, perhaps because you are part-time, over 65 or on a fixed term contract, you may complain as this is a form of discrimination. If you need further help Contact our Advice Line.

However you could well be entitled to Statutory Sick Pay (SSP). This is a legal requirement. If you qualify , your employer must pay you SSP (on behalf of the State effectively). You may well qualify as an Agency Worker.

You can’t get less than the statutory amount. You can get more if your company has a sick pay scheme (or ‘occupational scheme’) – check your employment contract.

SSP is paid if you qualify in accordance with set national guidelines. From April 2017 the SSP rate is £89.35 per week. This will increase from April 2018 to £90.05 per week.

All employers are liable to pay SSP to all eligible employees who are absent for 4 days or more up to a maximum of 28 weeks in one period of interruption of work. These regulations, originally introduced in 1982, have been amended many times.

You get SSP for the days you would normally have worked. It’s not paid for the first 3 days you’re off, unless you’ve been paid SSP within the last 8 weeks and are eligible for it again. This is often called a “linked” payment, so no waiting days are required.

SSP provides a scheme which gives qualifying employees sick pay on days when they are incapable by reason of sickness or injury of carrying out their normal contractual duties.

Talk to your employer or our Advice Line if you think:

  • their decision not to pay you SSP is wrong
  • you’re not getting the right amount of SSP

You can ask them for a reason. If this doesn’t sort the problem, give us a call or contact the HM Revenue and Customs (HMRC) employees’ enquiry line.


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