To qualify for Statutory Sick Pay (SSP) employees must:
- have an employment contract
- have done some work under their contract
- have been sick for 4 or more days in a row (including non-working days) - known as a ‘period of incapacity for work’
- earn at least £111 a week
- give you the correct notice
- give you proof of their illness, only after 7 days off
Employees who have been paid less than 8 weeks of earnings still qualify for SSP. Use the sick pay calculator work out how much to pay them.
Employees can qualify for sick pay from more than one job.
They could also qualify in one job but be fit for work in another, eg if one job is physical work that they can’t do while ill but the other is office-based.
Employees don’t qualify for SSP if they:
- have received the maximum amount of SSP (28 weeks)
- are getting Statutory Maternity Pay or Maternity Allowance - there are special rules for pregnant women and new mothers who don’t get these payments
- are off work for a pregnancy-related illness in the 4 weeks before the week (Sunday to Saturday) that their baby is due
- have taken 3 years or more ‘linked periods’ of sickness - where 4 or more days of sickness happen within 8 weeks of each other
- were in custody or on strike on the first day of sickness (including any linked periods)
- are working outside the EU and you’re not liable for their National Insurance contributions
- received Employment Support Allowance within 12 weeks of starting or returning to work for you
You must send an employee form SSP1:
- within 7 days of them going off sick, if they don’t qualify for SSP
- within 7 days of their SSP ending, if it ends unexpectedly while they’re still sick
- on or before the beginning of the 23rd week, if their SSP is expected to end before their sickness does
They can apply for Employment and Support Allowance instead.
If your employee thinks this is unfair, they can appeal to HM Revenue and Customs - the form tells them how to do this.
If you know an employee will be off for more than 28 weeks, you can complete SSP1 in advance. This means they can apply for Employment Support Allowance immediately.