Statutory Sick Pay (SSP) Rates & Eligibility

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 come 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 weekly SSP rate for employees that are eligible is £92.05 for up to 28 weeks by their employer. This statutory amount can be increased if an employer offers a sick pay scheme, however the SSP rate will never be any less that £92.05 a 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
  • 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 £116 weekly
  • Provide supporting proof that they are too unwell to work (sick note) if they are off work for more than 7 days
  • 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.

Weekly paid example:

PaydayLast payday before the first day of sicknessPayday at least 8 weeks before 19 January 2018
Weekly, every Friday19 January 201824 November 2017

This means the relevant period is 25th Nov 2017 to 19th Jan 2018. Next, you would add up the total earnings within the relevant period and divide 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 31 December 2017
Monthly on the last day of the month31 December 201731 October 2017

This means the relevant period is 1st Nov 2017 to 31st Dec 2017. With employees who are paid monthly, you would add up earnings within the relevant period, divide by the total number of months in the period (2 months in this example), multiply by 12 and divide by 52.

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

SSP Rates for Sickness – 6 April 2018 – 5th April 2019

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).

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.

Daily SSP Rates 2018/19

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 £36.82 with the first 3 WDs subtracted.

You can also calculate an employee’s statutory sick pay using the following SSP Calculator.

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 £92.05 a week for up to 28 weeks, paid by their employer. You can also use the following SSP Calculator.

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 £116 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.