An Employer’s Guide to Statutory Sick Pay

Covid-19 Update

What is Statutory Sick Pay (SSP)?

Statutory Sick Pay is a mandatory process by law that employers must consider with their own staff members, if they meet the specific eligibility requirements. 

These requirements include:

  • Whether they have been off on sick leave for at least four days in a row. 
  • They must earn on average £120 a week (before tax is deducted).
  • All casual, zero-hour contract and agency employees can get SSP if they meet the eligibility Gov criteria.

If your employees meet this criteria, then they may be eligible for SSP of £95.85 for up to a total of 28 weeks. If your company has a sick pay scheme available, then you as an employer can offer more than this figure, however it is against the law to offer less.

Reclaiming SSP

As an employer, you can reclaim up to two weeks’ SSP if all elements of the criteria apply:

  • Your PAYE payroll scheme began on/before the date of 28th February 2020.
  • You had fewer than 250 employees on the 28th February 2020.

Changes Due to Covid-19

From the 13th March 2020, it has been mandatory for employers to pay their workers SSP from their first day of self-isolating if they met the following criteria:

  • They have coronavirus or symptoms of the virus, including a continuous cough and a high temperature. 
  • Someone in their household has coronavirus or the symptoms mentioned above.
  • They have been told to self-isolate and shield either from a doctor, the NHS 111 service, or the Government ‘Test and Trace’ service.

Employers can claim back of up to two weeks of Statutory Sick Pay that they have paid to anyone because of Covid-19. Other eligibility criteria includes:

  • If an employee lives or works in an area with the restrictions in place, such as the Tier lockdown system. This includes the advice for people to shield and take extra care when in contact with someone.
  • If an employee has been advised to shield because they are at very high risk of getting a severe illness from the impact of the coronavirus.

If you require proof

Some employers may ask their employees for proof of sickness due to having time off from having coronavirus. Employers could ask for proof if an employee is self-isolating for more than seven days. Employees can get an online self-isolation note from the NHS website.

Some employers may need to be flexible when asking their employees for a self-isolation note, as some employees may have severe symptoms of coronavirus and might not be able to get a note from the NHS straight away.

Self-isolating after returning to the United Kingdom

Depending on the country that they have travelled from, travellers returning to the UK must self-isolate for 14 days. Employees are not entitled to Statutory Sick Pay if they are self-isolating after returning from business travel or a holiday and they cannot work from home.

If they have the coronavirus symptoms however, then they may be entitled to SSP from their employers. It is encouraged that employees are updated on their workplace policy for more details on SSP and what they are entitled to incase they are entitled to a higher rate than expected.

You can seek support from MCL Payroll by calling us on 01255 258316 or sending an email to and we can help direct you in the best way possible.

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