Statutory Sick Pay


Written by Ray Coman


Statutory sick payEmployers are bound by regulations about paying employees are who are unable to work due to sickness.  The employment contract can provide sick pay terms that are more generous than the statutory minimum.  This is sometimes referred to as an occupational scheme.  However, if the employment contract is silent on the matter of sick pay, then it is only the SSP regulations which apply.



Description 2020/21 2020/21
Sick Pay £96.35 per week £95.85 per week
Weekly threshold for eligiblity £120 a week  £120 a week 


For the first three days, the employee does not get paid.  From the fourth day, the employee gets statutory sick pay, as per the table above.


The SSP applies to all employees earning over weekly threshold.  The weekly threshold is not reduced for part-time workers.  SSP can be paid for up to 28 weeks.  If a staff member is sick for less than a week, it is acceptable for them to self-assess illness.  However, if they are still calling in sick on day 8, an employer can request a doctor’s note from them.  Any workers who are self-employed do not get SSP.


Statutory sick pay is taxable on the employee and subject to both employer’s and employee’s national insurance.  It would be paid at the same time as the normal monthly pay, but it is separately itemised on the payslip.


There are special rules announced in the 2020 Budget for coronavirus.  If a member of staff has Coronavirus, they get SSP from day one and not from day four.  Any employee who is eligible for statutory sick pay and are advised to self-isolate, even if they are not showing symptoms are eligible to SSP from day one of quarantine.  Employees can obtain a sick note through their doctor.  A further measure annnounced on 20th March 2020, enabled employees to be able to recover SSP for workers affected by Covid19.


From 6th April 2014, it is no longer possible for an employer to reclaim any SSP back from HMRC.


If there is a prolonged sickness and the employer has to terminate the contract, they will need to complete a form to help protect the entitlement of the former employee to the Employment and Support Allowance.

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