For sickness absence, an employee is entitled by law to receive Statutory Sick Pay (SSP), once he or she has been absent from work due to sickness for a period of four continuous days or more.
This is called a Period of Incapacity to Work (PIW) and all days count towards this, including weekends and bank holidays if these are days that he or she would normally work.
No payment is due for the first three days, which are known as 'waiting days'.
Periods of absence which are fewer than eight weeks apart are linked as one (PIW) for payment of SSP. This means that if an employee is sick for a second time during the eight-week period, and the total absence is four days or more, SSP should be paid from the first day of the second absence.
Note: The maximum number of weeks for which an employee is entitled to receive SSP is 28 weeks in any PIW. SSP is payable at the current statutory rate and is to be treated as part of an employee's normal earnings. It is, therefore, subject to tax and National Insurance deductions.
The weekly rate for 2013/14 is £86.70.
To work out how much SSP to pay you'll need:
Visit HMRC's website to use the Statutory Sick Pay calculator
To work out how much you as the employer can recover you will need:
Visit HMRC's website to use the SSP recovery calculator
We've written this advice specifically for owners and managers of small businesses in the UK. If you're an employee, or your business is based elsewhere in the world, you can still read this article by clicking on the link below, but please note that we won't be able to answer any questions you may have.Continue »