Statutory Sick Pay (SSP)
Statutory Sick Pay (SSP) is payable to eligible employees at a rate of £89.35 per week (2017/18 rate), and is payable for up to 28 weeks. It is paid for the days that an employee normally works and these are known as qualifying days. It is paid to an employee on their normal payday and is subject to the normal tax and National Insurance deductions.
An employer can offer to pay more if they have a company sick pay scheme in operation, but must not offer any less.
Employees will still accrue annual leave whilst absence from work, this can be taken during sick leave. You must not force your employees to take annual leave when they qualify for SSP.
Statutory Sick Pay is payable when an employee is sick for at least four days in a row (including non-working days). No payment is made for the first three qualifying days, known as ‘waiting days’. You will start paying SSP from the fourth qualifying day. Unless the employee has been receiving SSP with the last 8 weeks, then there are no waiting days (providing that the current period of sickness is for at least 4 days in a row).
If an employee has worked one minute or more before they go home, then this cannot be counted as a sick day for the purposes of SSP.
Statutory Sick Pay stops being payable, when the employee returns to work or no longer qualifies.
To be eligible for SSP employees must meet the following criteria:
- Have a contract of employment.
- Have done some work under their contract.
- Have been sick for 4 or more days in a row.
- Earn at least £113 per week (2017/18 rate).
- Give you the correct notice.
- After 7 days give proof of their sickness.
Employees will not be eligible for SSP if they:
- They have received the maximum amount of Statutory Sick Pay (28 weeks).
- Are in receipt of Statutory Maternity Pay or Maternity Allowance.
- Are off work for a pregnancy related illness in the 4 weeks before their due date.
- Were in legal custody or on strike on the first day of their sickness.
- Are working outside the EU.
If an employee is not eligible for SSP then you must issue Form SSP1 within 7 days of them going off sick.
The employee should tell you they are sick within your own time limit or 7 days if you do not have one. After 7 days off sick you can ask the employee to provide you with a Fit Note from their doctor. You must not withhold SSP of the employee is late sending you a fit note.
The Percentage Threshold Scheme (PTS) was abolished in April 2014 which means that you can no longer reclaim SSP from HMRC. Further HMRC advice if your employee is off frequently or for a long period of time can be found at https://www.gov.uk/guidance/statutory-sick-pay-employee-fitness-to-work#getting-medical-advice
If you would like to discuss this topic in more detail, or you would like to speak with a member of our team, please contact 01524 388719 to be put in contact with a member of our Payroll team.