Statutory sick pay (SSP)

Produced by Tolley in association with Vince Ashall

The following Employment Tax guidance note Produced by Tolley in association with Vince Ashall provides comprehensive and up to date tax information covering:

  • Statutory sick pay (SSP)
  • Temporary changes to SSP for coronavirus (COVID-19)
  • Introduction to SSP
  • Period of incapacity for work
  • Waiting days
  • Qualifying days
  • 2021/22 rates
  • Evidence of sickness
  • Average weekly earnings
  • Linking
  • More...

Statutory sick pay (SSP)

Statutory sick pay has its origins in the Social Security and Housing Benefits Act 1982, Part 1. Various amendments have been made to this Act to give us the SSP system we now operate.

Temporary changes to SSP for coronavirus (COVID-19)

New legislation has been put in place in light of the coronavirus outbreak extending the definition of those who are able to claim SSP. See the Coronavirus (COVID-19), statutory sick pay (SSP) and NIC guidance note and SPM110000.

Introduction to SSP

A table of acronyms and related terms used in this note is as follows:

AWEAverage weekly earnings
LELLower earnings limit
NICNational insurance contributions
PIWPeriod of incapacity for work
PTSPercentage threshold scheme
QDQualifying days
SC2Employee’s statement of sickness (self-certificate)
SSPStatutory sick pay
STSecondary threshold
WDWaiting days

Assessing whether an employee is entitled to SSP involves several processes. Although not necessarily complex, the interaction can be somewhat confusing at times, but these processes and interactions are explained below.

The conditions regarding assessing and paying SSP apply equally to all employees whether they are full-time, part-time, permanent, fixed-term, or casual.

The first step is to ascertain whether the employee who is on sick absence meets the qualifying conditions. This involves determining:

  1. the length of the absence

  2. the employee’s AWE over the relevant period

  3. QD in the period of absence

  4. WD in the period of absence

  5. whether the latest period of absence links to an earlier period of absence

  6. reasons why SSP cannot be paid, or can no longer be paid

While employers are required to pay SSP, there is no recovery of these amounts from the Government and so the cost falls entirely on the employer.

Period of incapacity for work

Before SSP can be paid, an employee has to have a PIW. This is a period of sickness absence of four consecutive calendar days or more. If the absence is less than four consecutive calendar days, SSP is not payable.

Waiting days

No SSP is due for the first three days of sickness absence,

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