What is it?
Statutory Sick Pay (SSP) is a statutory payment which can be paid to employees who are absent form work due to illness.
You can be paid it for up to 28 weeks.
Am I eligible?
To qualify for SSP you must:
- be classed as an employee (this includes agency workers)
- have done some work for your employer
- earn an average of at least £120 per week
- have been ill, self-isolating or ‘shielding’ for at least 4 days in a row (including non-working days)
How much is it?
The rate of SSP is £95.85 per week. You cannot get less than this statutory amount. You may get more if your company has a sick pay scheme (or ‘occupational scheme’). You should check your employment contract for details of such a scheme.
Who pays it?
SSP is paid by your employer in the same way as your normal wages, for example weekly or monthly. Tax and National Insurance will be deducted from your SSP. If you have more than one job you may get SSP from each employer.
You can get SSP from the fourth day you are off work sick.
How do I apply?
You should claim SSP from your employer. You must tell your employer that you’re unable to work before the deadline they set (or within 7 days if they have not set a deadline).
You should check with your employer what the deadline is and how you should tell them as you could lose some of your SSP if you do not tell your employer in time.
A self-certificate of sickness can be produced for the first seven days of sickness. You will have to give your employer a doctors certificate, otherwise known as a FIT note, if you’re off sick for more than 7 days in a row (including non-working days).
Is it National Insurance based?
No - but you must have earned an average of £120 per week.
How long does it last?
You are entitled to a maximum of 28 weeks of SSP per period of sickness.
If you have a period of sickness that starts within eight weeks of an earlier period of sickness it is treated as ‘linked’ and included within the same 28 week maximum entitlement to SSP. So, for example, if you had 28 weeks SSP and then returned to work but, six weeks later, had another period of sickness you could not be paid any SSP as you have the 28 weeks maximum SSP for this period of sickness as they are ‘linked’ periods.
If however, you have a period of sickness that starts more than eight weeks after an period of sickness it is not ‘linked’ which means you could get SSP again for a maximum of 28 weeks.
Does it affect any other benefits?
SSP overlaps with national insurance benefits which means you cannot be paid SSP in addition to contribution benefits.
It also counts in full as income for means tested benefits such as Universal Credit.
Is it payable in the European Union?
Yes but only you work for a UK employer.