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Statutory Sick Pay

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.

SSP rate

The weekly rate for 2013/14 is £86.70. 

Calculating SSP

To work out how much SSP to pay you'll need:

  • The date of your employee's first full day of sick leave

  • The date your employee first told you they'd be off sick

  • The date of your employee's last day of sick leave - if it's ended

  • Medical evidence for any sick leave that lasted more than seven days

  • Full details of any sick leave the employee had that ended during the 57 days before the current sick leave started - and the number of weeks and days you paid SSP for

  • Details of your employee's gross earnings during a period of at least eight weeks just before they were first absent – unless they've had a previous period of sick leave (see above) or they're a new employee

  • The days that you and your employee agree are 'qualifying days' - normal working days - for SSP

  • If your employee has one, form SSP1(L) from a previous employer or a 'linking letter' from the Department for Work and Pensions (a BF220, BF220A, BF220B or BF220C letter)

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:

  • Details of all the SSP you paid to all your employees in the tax month/s for which you wish to calculate recovery

  • The total amount of Class 1 National Insurance contributions you were liable to pay for each of the tax months for which recovery is to be calculated

Visit HMRC's website to use the SSP recovery calculator

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