Statutory Sick Pay (SSP) is a legal requirement for employers in the UK to pay their employees who are unable to work due to illness or injury. It serves as a safety net for workers who need financial support during their absence. Understanding the key points and information about SSP is crucial for both employers and employees.

Eligibility for SSP

To be eligible for SSP, an employee must meet certain criteria. Firstly, they must be off work for at least 4 consecutive days due to illness or injury. This ensures that the absence is significant and not just a minor ailment. Additionally, the employee must be earning at least £120 per week. This threshold ensures that SSP is available to those who rely on their income and contributes to the overall fairness of the system.

Duration of SSP

SSP is paid for a maximum of 28 weeks. If an employee is still unable to work after this period, they may be eligible for other forms of support, such as Employment and Support Allowance (ESA). The duration of SSP provides a reasonable timeframe for employees to recover and return to work.

Amount of SSP

The current rate of SSP is £96.35 per week, which is paid by the employer. However, it's important to note that the amount may be higher if the employee's contract of employment provides for it. Some employers choose to offer more generous sick pay schemes to support their employees during times of illness or injury.

Start Date of SSP

SSP is paid from the fourth day of absence, known as the 'qualifying day'. This means that the first three days of absence, known as 'waiting days', are not paid by the employer. The waiting days encourage employees to return to work as soon as possible, while still providing support for more prolonged absences.

Evidence Requirements

After 7 days of absence, employers may ask for evidence of illness or injury, such as a doctor's note. This requirement ensures that SSP is not abused and that employees genuinely need financial support during their absence.

COVID-19 and SSP

Due to the COVID-19 pandemic, temporary changes have been made to SSP rules. Employees who are self-isolating or shielding are now eligible for SSP. This change acknowledges the unique circumstances brought about by the pandemic and ensures that individuals are not financially penalized for following public health guidelines. Additionally, employers may be eligible for a rebate for SSP paid to employees who are off work due to COVID-19.

It's important to note that SSP is a minimum requirement set by law, and some employers may offer more generous sick pay schemes. If you are unsure about your entitlement to SSP or other sick pay, it's best to speak to your employer or consult a legal professional who can provide guidance tailored to your specific situation.