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We can give you the right advice about your employees’ eligibility for sick pay

Statutory Sick Pay

Find out all you need to know about your employees’ eligibility

Statutory Sick Pay (SSP) is paid to employees who are unable to work because of illness. SSP is paid at the same time and in the same way as you would pay wages for the same period. The employer is responsible for operating the SSP scheme, which includes making payments to employees who meet certain qualifying conditions.

An employee must meet all the following conditions to get SSP:

  • The employee will need to have worked under their employment contract before going off sick
  • The days they’re off sick must make up part of a ‘period of incapacity for work’ (PIW) – explained below
  • Days for which the employee receives SSP must be qualifying days – these are days they normally work
  • Earnings must exceed Lower Earnings Limit (LEL) for National Insurance contributions (NICs) – £118 a week for 2020/21
  • The employee cannot have already received the maximum amount of SSP for the PIW – or for a series of linked PIWs (28 weeks)
  • The employee must have notified you about their sickness – either within your own time limit or within seven days
  • The employee must give you evidence of their incapacity if you require it

When to start paying SSP:

SSP isn’t payable straight away. The first 3 Qualifying Days of a PIW are called ‘Waiting Days’ when SSP isn’t payable. SSP is payable from the first qualifying day after the 3 waiting days. The weekly rate of SSP is currently £95.85 and is payable for a maximum of 28 weeks in a PIW or series of linked PIWs.

There may be occasions where you are only to pay SSP for part of a week. If so you need to calculate a daily rate of SSP. The daily rate is the weekly rate divided by the Qualifying Days (working days) in that week. For SSP purposes the week always begins on a Sunday.

SSP forms and record-keeping:

HMRC may wish to check that you are operating the SSP scheme correctly. It is down to you to provide proof of this, which is why keeping accurate records is essential.

HMRC recommends you record the following:

  • All sickness periods lasting for four days in a row or longer
  • All SSP payments you make

You can use form SSP2 to record this information – an interactive form is available within HMRC’s Basic PAYE Tools software package. You can also download here or order paper copies from the Employer Orderline. A history of sickness absence is also kept on most payroll systems. Use and retain a copy of form SSP1 – or your own equivalent – when your employee has had the maximum amount of SSP and needs to claim Employment and Support Allowance.

There is a quick and easy way to calculate SSP, go to SSP Calculator.

The calculator will help you work out if your employee is entitled to SSP and if so, provide a schedule of the payments you should make.

For more information on how Stipendia can help you, please contact us.

Self Certification

If employees are off work for 7 days or less, they do not need to give their employer a fit note or other proof of sickness from a medical professional.

When they return to work, their employer can ask them to confirm they’ve been off sick. This is called ‘self-certification’. The employer and employee will agree on how the employee should do this. They might need to fill in a form or send details of their sick leave by email

Key Contact: Lynne Auton
Tel: (0845) 308 2288
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