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Date of publication: September 2016

All employees are currently entitled to £88.45 per week Statutory Sick Pay (SSP) if they are too ill to work and satisfy certain conditions.  The SSP payment is reviewed by the government each April and normally increases following a review.  It is paid by their employer for up to 28 weeks in the same way as normal wages (e.g. weekly or monthly).  Tax and National Insurance will be deducted.

Employees cannot receive less than the statutory amount but can get more if their company has a sick pay scheme (or ‘occupational scheme’).

To qualify for Statutory Sick Pay (SSP) employees must:

  • be classed as an employee and have done some work for their employer;
  • have been sick for 4 or more days in a row (including non-working days);
  • earn at least £112 (before tax) a week ;
  • inform their employer they are sick before their employer’s deadline - or within 7 days if they don’t have one.

Employees only have to supply a doctor’s fit note if they miss more than 7 days of work. Statutory Sick Pay is not paid for the first 3 days of any period of illness unless the period is ‘linked’ - where 4 or more days of sickness happen within 8 weeks of each other.  These initial 3 days are classed as ‘PIW days’ (Period of Incapacity for Work) and begin with the first day of illness, even if this is a non-working day or the employee is entitled to company sick pay.

Employees won’t qualify if they:

  • have received the maximum amount of SSP (28 weeks);
  • have taken 3 years or more ‘linked periods’ of sickness;
  • are receiving Statutory Maternity Pay.

If employees don’t qualify for SSP, their employer must give them form SSP1 within 7 days of illness.

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Disclaimer: This note does not contain a full statement of the law and it does not constitute legal advice. Please seek legal advice if you have any questions about the information set out above.

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