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Wednesday 3 April 2013

When is an employee entitled to Statutory Sick Pay and how much are they entitled to?

Employees, no matter what their length of service, who earn on average more than the Lower Earnings Limit are entitled to claim Statutory Sick Pay (SSP) if they are absent from work due to illness.

Employees are eligible for SSP from the 4th day of absence from work and are entitled to up to 28 weeks SSP in any period of incapacity for work or in a series of linked periods.   Periods of incapacity for work can be linked if they are not more than 8 weeks apart.  If one period of absence is not linked to a previous period (because it is more than 8 weeks since the last period) then the “clock” is reset and SSP entitlement starts again.

SSP is generally funded by the employer; the current SSP rate is £85.85 per week.  However where the total SSP paid in a month is greater than 13% of the employer’s total Class 1 National Insurance Contribution liability for that month, the employer can recover the excess from the tax authorities.   After 28 weeks, if the employee remains absent due to illness, the Department for Work and Pensions will pay sickness benefit directly to the employee.   

Employers are entitled to ask for reasonable evidence of an employee’s incapacity after the first 7 days of absence; this could include a doctor’s sick note or a self certification form.