What is statutory sick pay?

Understand how much your employees receive when off ill.

Your employees will be off sick from time to time. It’s an unfortunate thing, but a part of modern working life.

While it can damage your business’ productivity, it’s also essential to have a healthy and happy workforce.

After all, ill staff members can’t do their job to the best of their abilities. And they may even affect those around them.

So, you should be clear about your sickness policy and where your employees stand. That includes pay during sick days, which we’re taking a look at below.

What is statutory sick pay in the UK?

It’s the amount you pay to an employee while they’re off from work ill. You must, on a legal basis, provide statutory sick pay (SSP).

So, how much is statutory sick pay in 2019/2020 and beyond? Under employment law, sick pay it was £95.85 per week. The amount is subject to annual reviews, so this may change in the future.

How does sick pay work?

There are statutory sick pay rules. When an employee is ill for at least four days in a row (and that includes non-working days), then they qualify for SSP.

And how long does statutory sick pay last? Up to 28 weeks. Employee don’t receive it for the first three days, unless they’ve had a period of sick time off work in the previous eight weeks.

Statutory sick pay amounts don’t vary. Staff can’t receive less SSP pay than the statutory amount. If your business is offering a sick pay scheme, then what you pay may be higher than the standard amount.

That’s up to your business, however. You can explain all of that in your contracts of employment on a relevant workplace policy.

The law on being sick from work

There are two sets of legislation that govern how you must handle sickness absences. These are the:

  1. Statutory Sick Pay (General) Regulations 1982.
  2. Statutory Sick Pay (Medical Evidence) Regulations 1985.

To receive sick pay from work, staff must meet a set of criteria. This includes:

  1. To qualify, they must have at least four days off in a row (including weekends and holidays).
  2. The employee must be earning at least an average of £120 per week—before any tax and National Insurance deductions from this amount.
  3. Employees must notify you as soon as possible.
  4. They can self-certify for the first seven days, but after that you can request a certification of sickness/medical proof.

You have the right to withhold SSP payments during any delays in notification.

It’s for these reasons you need to establish a clear and fair absence policy to help manage any issues relating to employee sickness absences.

Statutory sick pay in summary

Okay, so the above information is all quite complex and can confuse a lot of business owners and employees.

So here in handy form are the three essential bits of information involving SSP you need to know:

  1. It’s currently at a minimum of £95.85 per week for qualifying employees—employees can receive it for up to 28 weeks.
  2. A member of staff must work for you.
  3. Since April 2014, businesses can’t claim reimbursements from the UK government to cover any long-term sickness costs.

That’s it for SSP. But you can read more about employee sick leave entitlement to understand what your workforce can claim.


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