Do I qualify for Statutory Sick Pay (SSP)?

Ill woman on the sofa with medication and vitamins on the table next to her.

If you become too ill to work, Statutory Sick Pay (SSP) will ensure that you have at least some form of income to get you through – but too many people are unsure whether or not they qualify.

If you are one of these people, Bobatoo has the answers to all of your questions right here.

First of all, what is Statutory Sick Pay (SSP)?

Statutory Sick Pay is a government-run scheme which makes it a legal requirement for employers to pay their employees a minimum amount should they be off work for more than four consecutive days (including non-working days such as weekends and bank holidays).

2 million workers in the UK could be able to claim for Statutory Sick Pay for the first time – find out if you’re affected here.

How much is Statutory Sick Pay?

The SSP rate for full-time workers in the UK currently stands at £94.25 a week, with employees entitled to this rate for up to 28 weeks (around 7 months).

For part-time workers, Statutory Sick Pay is paid on a pro-rata basis. This means that employees should be paid an SSP rate which accurately reflects the amount of hours they work on a weekly basis.

Calculations are typically made by looking at the employee’s last 8 weeks of earnings, including things like:

  • Overtime
  • Bonuses
  • Commission
  • Holiday pay

Do I qualify for Statutory Sick Pay?

Now, this is the important bit – do you qualify for SSP? For a general assessment, there are a few questions you need to ask yourself:

  • Are you employed? – To qualify for SSP, you must have an employment contract. This is usually a lengthy piece of documentation which you will have signed upon starting work for your current employer, spelling out your rights, responsibilities and employment conditions.
  • Have you done any work? – If you have signed a contract of employment but are yet to do any work, you will not qualify for SSP.
  • How long have you been sick? – To qualify for SSP, you must have been sick for a minimum of 4 consecutive days. This includes weekends and bank holidays and is known as a ‘period of incapacity for work’.
  • How much do you earn? – You must earn at least £118 a week (before tax) to qualify for SSP. This works out at around £472 a month.
  • Have you given your employer the correct notice? – You must inform your employer of your intention of claiming for SSP within the time limit stated in your contract or, if it is not stated, within 7 days. You will not be reimbursed for a loss of earnings for every day which you are late to inform your employer.
  • Do you have proof of illness? – If you are off for more than 7 days, you must provide your employer with proof that you are unfit to work. This can be in the form of a sick note signed by a doctor or an official report from an occupational therapist, podiatrist or physiotherapist.

Company sick pay schemes

It is worth noting that many employers offer their own company sick pay schemes which either top-up or replace SSP payments. These are usually far more generous than SSP and usually involve you receiving full payment for a period (sometimes up to 6 months), followed by a period during which you will receive a deduction (i.e. half pay).

Check the terms of your contract of employment to see if you are enrolled on a company sick pay scheme, or contact your employer to find out what your sick pay entitlements are.

Can you get SSP from two jobs?

Yes, if you work more than one job, you may be able to claim Statutory Sick Pay from each employer – as long as you meet the aforementioned requirements in each job.

What happens when your Statutory Sick Pay ends?

If your Statutory Sick Pay runs out – or if you do not qualify for SSP – you might be able to apply for another form of financial support like Universal Credit or Employment and Support Allowance (ESA).

When your SSP is set to end, your employer should send you an SSP1 form within 7 days of its end date or before the beginning of your 23rd week of sickness.

Claiming Statutory Sick Pay when self-employed

Statutory Sick Pay is a benefit paid to employers by their employees when they have been deemed unfit to work. Therefore, if you are self-employed, you are not able to claim for SSP.

This is why many self-employed workers opt to take out income protection insurance, which promises to provide policyholders with financial help if they are no longer able to continue their normal employment duties – this can be down to illness, injury or involuntary unemployment (i.e. redundancy).

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There are typically 3 types of income protection insurance. These are:

  • Long-term income protection – This will provide substantial cover for you if you become too ill to work for an extended period of time or, indeed, ever again. Long-term income protection can cover you until you reach a specific age, or eventually return to work.
  • Short-term income protection – This is an insurance policy designed to cover you financially should you find yourself out of work for a short period of time – usually between 3 and 12 months.
  • Accident, sickness and unemployment (ASU) cover – This level of cover is specific to a particular debt (such as a mortgage) and promises to ensure that these payments are kept up if you find yourself out of work through illness, injury or unemployment.

For a detailed look at the different variations of income protection, check out Bobatoo’s guide: What are the different types of income protection insurance?

Where to get the best income protection insurance

If you do not qualify for Statutory Sick Pay, or wish to take out extra protection, you’re in the right place. Bobatoo works with a range of trusted insurers in the UK to offer customers the best income protection insurance policies for a great price.

To get a free quote on income protection insurance, click or tap the green button below.

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