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What is statutory sick pay?

Statutory sick pay (SSP) is paid to employees in light of them taking time out of work with illness. Employers are bound to pay SSP by law but do not have the right to decide who is eligible for it. The rates of SSP rates do vary from country to country. In Scotland for example, sick pay depends on how long someone has been employed. SSP rates also depend on the number of hours an employee has worked in a week. 

How much is SSP and what is the rate?

The current rate for SSP rate (2021-22) is £96.35 per week. You can find the statutory sick pay rates and thresholds for 2021-22 here.

You’ll see that the amount you need to pay an employee for each day they take sick days is dependent on the number of ‘qualifying days’ they work. A ‘qualifying day’ is any day the employee was sick from the 4th consecutive day. The first three days they’re off sick are called ‘waiting days’.

If you need to work out the SSP daily rate, this would be calculated by taking the weekly rate, dividing by seven and multiplying by the number of ‘qualifying days’ the employee had.

As an employer, you can increase the SSP rate yourself if you offer a sick pay scheme. But, the SSP rate should never be below the statutory rate of £96.35. If you have such a scheme, the details of it should be written in your employees’ contracts.

If you work (and aren’t self-employed), you’re legally entitled to get Statutory Sick Pay (SSP) as long as you:

  • have started work with your employer
  • are sick for 4 full days or more in a row (including non-working days) or you’ve been told to self-isolate because of coronavirus
  • earn on average at least £120 per week (before tax)
  • are not in one of the ineligible categories
  • follow your employer’s rules for getting sick pay

SSP calculator 

Employers can use an SSP calculator to determine how much is the statutory sick pay and to find out whether they are required to pay their employees SSP.

An employer can use the SSP calculator to find out how much is the sick pay that an employee needs for one week of sick leave to qualify for SSP because the employee has worked for less than twelve weeks.

On top of this, employees will get 1 day of statutory sick pay for every 17 days worked (thirty nine days in total).

Eligibility for Statutory Sick Pay 

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

  • be classed as an employee and have done some work for the employer
  • earn an average of at least £120 per week
  • have been ill or self-isolating for at least 4 days in a row (including non-working days)

How many days you can get SSP for depends on why you’re off work.

Agency workers are entitled to Statutory Sick Pay.

Who is not eligible for SSP?

Your employee will not qualify for Statutory Sick Pay if they:

  • Have been off sick for longer than 28 weeks
  • Are getting Statutory Maternity Pay
  • Were in custody or on strike during the first day of their qualifying period

An employee’s SSP ends when their doctor says they are:

  • Fit for work; or 
  • Ready to start work after having off-work sickness for 12 weeks; or 
  • Not expected to go back into work because of their illness within 26 weeks; or
  • Dead.

How to claim Statutory Sick Pay for Coronavirus 

You must pay an employee SSP if they’re self-isolating and off work for at least 4 days and any of the following apply:

You must pay your employee from the first ‘qualifying day’ they’re off work. The date will depend on why they’re off work.

You must pay them on or after one of the following dates:

  • 13 March 2020 – if they or someone they live with has symptoms or has tested positive for COVID-19
  • 28 May 2020 – if your employee has been notified by the NHS or public health authorities that they’ve come into contact with someone with COVID-19
  • 6 July 2020 – if someone in their support bubble (or extended household in Scotland or Wales) has symptoms or has tested positive for COVID-19
  • 26 August 2020 – if your employee has been advised by a doctor or healthcare professional to self-isolate before going into hospital for surgery

A ‘qualifying day’ is a day an employee usually works on.

If you have any questions or need any assistance with submitting a claim for SSP, contact the team at Jaccountancy today on 0330 122 2280