Sick pay comes in two forms:
- statutory sick pay (SSP), which most employees are entitled to receive if they are off sick from work
- contractual sick pay, which are earnings that a Contract of employment states that an employee is entitled to receive in the event of sickness.
Employees may be eligible for SSP which is currently £99.35 a week for up to 28 weeks.
SSP is paid:
- for the days an employee normally works (‘qualifying days’)
- in the same way as wages, that is, on a normal payday, deducting tax and National insurance
Employers cannot force employees to take annual leave when they're eligible for sick leave.
SSP is paid when the employee is sick for at least 4 days in a row (including non-working days, such as weekends). The employer should start paying SSP from the fourth qualifying day. The first 3 qualifying days are called ‘waiting days’ and during this time, the employee is not paid SSP, unless:
- they were off sick and getting SSP within the last 8 weeks
- they were off work before 25 March 2022 because they had Coronavirus (COVID-19)
SSP usually stops when the employee comes back to work or is no longer eligible.