Statutory Sick Pay (SSP) Rates & Eligibility

Last updated: October 2019

Recent Update: For the 2019 – 2020 Tax Year, the following has changed:
Weekly sick pay: this is now £94.25 per week.
Minimum weekly pay to qualify for SSP: this is now £118 per week.


Working out whether an employee is eligible for Statutory Sick Pay (SSP), how much they are entitled to, and how to record it can present itself as quite the challenge. That’s where FMP Global comes in. We are able to provide businesses and organisations with outsourced, part-managed bureau and complete-managed payroll solutions, undertaking the time-consuming paperwork and processes for you.

What is Statutory Sick Pay?

Statutory sick pay (SSP) is paid to employees who are too unwell and unable to work for a period of four days or more. Currently, the SSP rate for employees who are eligible is £94.25 per week, for up to 28 weeks. This statutory amount can be increased if an employer offers a sick pay scheme, however the SSP rate will never be any less that £94.25 per week.

Eligibility for Statutory Sick Pay

To be eligible for Statutory Sick Pay, an employee needs to:

  • First and foremost, be counted as an employee and have completed some work for their employer before being taken ill. See more on the government’s Employment status guidelines.
  • Have been ill and unable to work for a minimum of four consecutive days. This period of four days or more is known as a ‘period of incapacity to work’ (PIW) and isn’t limited to just working days, it can include non-working days
  • Make their employer aware that they are unwell within 1 week or prior to their employer’s own deadline
  • Earn a minimum of £118 weekly
  • If off work for more than 7 days, an employee must provide supporting proof that they are too unwell to work (sick note)
  • Have not already received the maximum Statutory Sick Pay (28 weeks)

Employers must pay their employee for SSP if they qualify with the above. The days an employee is receiving SSP for must be qualifying days, in other words, days that they are contracted to work.

SSP is not paid immediately, there are three ‘waiting days’ (the first three days of a PIW), but once these are up, it’s payable to the employee. When there are two PIWs separated by a gap up to 8 weeks long, they become ‘Linked PIWs’.

Employers must record employees’ illness-related absences spanning four days or more, as well as all payments of SSP.

How to Work Out Statutory Sick Pay

Weekly paid example:

PaydayLast payday before the first day of sicknessPayday at least 8 weeks before this (e.g. 1st November 2019)
Every Friday1st November 20196th September 2019

This means the relevant period is 6th September to 1st November 2019. Add up the total earnings within the relevant period and divide this by the total number of weeks in the period (8 weeks in this example.)

Note – figures should not be rounded up or down by whole pence

Monthly paid example:

PaydayLast payday before the first day of sicknessPayday at least 8 weeks before this (31st October 2019)
Last day of the month31st October 201929th August 2019

This means the relevant period is 29th August to 31st October. With employees who are paid monthly, you would add up the earnings within the relevant period, then divide this by the total number of months in the period (2 months in this example), then multiply by 12 and divide by 52 to get the weekly amount.

Note – figures should not be rounded up or down by whole pence

SSP Rates for Sickness – 6 April 2019 – 5th April 2020

Once average weekly earnings have been worked out, the below table can be used to calculate SSP. If the period of sickness works out to less than a full week, pay SSP for a part week, using a daily rate of SSP below (weekly rate divided by the number of agreed QDs in that week).

Daily SSP Rates 2019/20

Unrounded daily ratesNumber of Qualifying Days in a week1 day to pay2 days to pay3 days to pay4 days to pay5 days to pay6 days to pay7 days to pay


For example, if an employee usually works 5 days a week, is sick for 5 days, they will be eligible for 2 days’ SSP at £37.70 with the first 3 WDs subtracted.
You can also calculate an employee’s statutory sick pay using the following SSP Calculator.

Terminology Explained:

PIW – Period of Incapacity for Work

This is a period of sickness lasting four days+ in a row. This includes bank holidays, weekends and non-working days.

QDs – Qualifying Days

These are the days that your employee normally works. These days can be counted as waiting days and can be paid with SSP.

WDs – Waiting Days

Waiting days are the first three qualifying days in a PIW. However, these may not always be the first three actual days of sickness, as sickness may begin on a non-qualifying day – e.g. a weekend day.

How We Can Help

Find out more information about FMP Global’s Outsourced Payroll Solutions and let us do the work. With over 40 years’ experience, we have the expertise to ensure your employees’ Statutory Sick Pay is distributed accurately and reliably.

For the complete, in-depth guidelines on Statutory Sick Pay entitlement, eligibility and exceptions, please visit the Gov website.

Quick Reference FAQs

Q. How much is Statutory Sick Pay?

A. Employees that are eligible can receive £94.25 a week for up to 28 weeks, paid by their employer. Use the following SSP Calculator to work out what your employee is eligible for.

Q. How do I calculate sick pay for part time employees?

A. This is worked out by dividing an employee’s weekly pay by the number of days they work in a week.

Q. How many waiting days are there for SSP

A. There are three waiting days; these are the first three days of an employee’s period of incapacity to work. After this time is up, an employee is paid SSP.

Q. Is statutory sick pay taxable?

A. Yes, SSP is taxable – tax and national insurance are deducted.

Q. In what circumstances would an employee not qualify for SSP?

A. If the employee has been sick for less than 4 days in a row (including non-working days), fails to provide you with proof of their illness (after 7 days off), does not give you the correct notice, or earns less than £118 a week, they will not qualify for SSP. Additionally, they would not be eligible if they had not yet performed work under their contract, or did not have an employment contract in the first place.