Statutory Sick Pay

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Statutory sick pay (SSP) can be a bit of a headache for employers and payrollers’ alike: when to pay, how much, for how long?  It is however something that it is important to be familiar with to ensure proper management and function of business.

The first thing to determine is when someone is eligible for Statutory Sick Pay.  An employee must both have a contract and have done at least some work before they can begin to receive SSP.  Their illness must last for more than four days, with proof being provided in the form of a doctor’s line when this lasts for more than seven days.  The minimum earning to begin qualifying for this remuneration is at least £112 per week.  It should also be noted that both agency and contract workers are also eligible for SSP.

The next thing a payroller must work out is when to begin paying SSP.  It will be paid when the employee has been off for four consecutive days and only after the fourth day of absence.  Prior to this the employee will receive their normal rate of pay (unless SSP has been received within the last 8 weeks).  It might also be noted that the four days must be full days of absence, taking ill during the day and being sent home will constitute a full days work.  The current rate of SSP, though this can be liable to changes, is set at £88.45 a week, which will work out at roughly £353.80 a month.  This will run for upto 28 weeks.  This does not affect an employer’s right to have contractual sick pay which may be set at a different rate, though not lower than SSP.

SSP will be paid on the same day as a salary.  If at the end of 28 weeks an employee has not returned to work they may be eligible for employment and support allowance though no longer SSP.

If you are an employee you must phone in before a working day starts if you are to be absent on account of illness and also provide a sick line by way of proof after seven days of illness.  Whilst it is incumbent upon an employee to meet this critera to avoid possible disciplinary action, failure to do so will not mitigate an employer’s duty to pay SSP and they are advised not to withhold it.

While some may see it as cumbersome area it is worthwhile for both employers and employees to familiarise themselves with the rules relating to SSP so absences can be dealt with more easily and without added stresses to either parties.

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