Sickness Pay

Sickness Pay

At some point we all end up with staff off sick, so what do you have to pay them and when?

Who qualifies:

To qualify for Statutory Sick Pay (SSP) an employee has to:

  • Be classed as an employee
  • Have been ill for at least four days in a row. This includes non-working days so don’t forget to include days off
  • Earn at least £113 (before tax) per week
What do they get:

As long as an employee qualifies you have to pay them £89.35 per week for up to 28 weeks. You pay SSP for the days they would normally have worked and is not paid for the first three days sick, making day four the first day SSP is paid.

However, this is the minimum you have to pay by law. Your contracts of employment may state a higher amount.

Linked sickness:

If someone has been sick more regularly these may count as linked periods of sickness in which case you have to pay SSP straight away (not wait until the fourth day). Linked periods must:

  • Last four days or more days each
  • Be eight or less weeks apart
Sick notes and Self-Certification:

Sick notes are now called Doctor’s Fit Notes and only have to be provided to you if the employee misses more than seven days of work. Up to the seventh day the employee must self-certify that they are unwell and qualify for SSP. A draft form that you can use is available here. We would advise that you require all employees to complete this form on their return to work from sickness absence of any length, as it helps reduce sickness absence through making them justify shorter absences and helps you identify trends with particular staff or times of year.

Employee not eligible:

If you have an employee who isn’t eligible or whose SSP ends then you need to complete and give your employee form SSP1.

Recording Sickness:

You have to record, for HMRC, all of your employee’s sickness absences for SSP. You do this on form SSP2.

Returning to work:

You may decide to hold return to work interviews with staff on their first day back after a period of sickness. At these meetings you can discuss their illness, make sure all of the correct forms have been completed and also talk about whether you can help to reduce any persistent absence. This can be particularly helpful for staff that are regularly off sick.

If you require any further information on this or any other issue please don’t hesitate to give us a call on 02392 295000