Subject to satisfying certain conditions, all employees are entitled to receive statutory sick pay (SSP) from their employers when they are absent from work for four or more consecutive days up to a limit of 28 weeks. Unless the employee has a contractual right to normal pay, SSP is all the employer is obliged to pay him during sickness. The current weekly rate of SSP is £85.85.
SSP is only payable:
- if the employee has been incapable of work for four or more consecutive days;
- if the employee has notified the employer of his absence before their deadline – or within 7 days if they don’t have one;
- earn at least £107 (before tax) per week;
- for days on which the employee would normally be required to work.
- when the employee returns to work;
- when the maximum entitlement of 28 weeks’ SSP has been paid (if the employee is still sick in these circumstances, he shall become entitled to incapacity benefit);
- with the expiry or termination of the employee’s contract of employment;
- when the employee becomes entitled to maternity allowanceor statutory maternity pay;or
- if the employee goes into legal custody.
SSP attracts Income Tax and National Insurance contributions.
Employers cannot require employees to contract out of their rights to SSP or contribute towards SSP payments. Failure to comply with the obligation to pay SSP can amount to a criminal offence.