If someone is off work sick they might have a right to sick pay. Both physical and mental health problems can count as sickness.
Statutory Sick Pay (SSP)
Statutory Sick Pay (SSP) is the minimum amount employers must pay an employee who’s off sick.
By law, employers must pay SSP to employees who meet the SSP eligibility conditions on GOV.UK including:
- the employee is off sick for at least 4 days in a row (including non-working days)
- the employee earns on average at least £118 per week (before tax)
Agency workers, casual workers and zero hours workers can get SSP as long as they meet the eligibility conditions.
How much an employee gets
SSP is £94.25 per week and can be paid for up to 28 weeks.
SSP must be paid from the fourth day of sickness. The first 3 days might be unpaid depending on what’s in your employment contract or workplace’s policy.
More about SSP
You can also find:
- employers' information on SSP for different employment types on GOV.UK
- employees' information on SSP entitlement on the Citizens Advice website
If the employer pays more than SSP
Employers cannot pay less than SSP but they can pay more. This is called ‘company’, ‘contractual’ or ‘occupational’ sick pay.
Check the employment contract to see if contractual sick pay is offered. If so, the contract should say:
- how much sick pay is paid
- how long sick pay can last
- any rules the employer has for using sick pay
If sickness is caused by work
The same sick pay rules apply if sickness is caused by the workplace. For example, an employee is not entitled to extra sick pay if they get:
- an injury through an accident or negligence at work
- a mental health condition caused by stress at work
This is unless your workplace’s sickness policy or the employment contract terms and conditions say otherwise. So it’s a good idea to check.