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What is statutory sick pay?

Statutory Sick Pay (SSP) is a payment made to you on a weekly basis by your employer to help you while you're ill or injured.

This type of sick pay is regulated by the Government and can be paid for up to 28 weeks. This means that if you qualify for statutory sick pay, then you're legally entitled to it.

The current weekly payment for SSP is £88.45. SSP is a taxable income.

Typically, if you're in employment and have been sick for four or more days, including non-working days, then you should receive statutory sick pay.

To make sure you get sick pay you must:

  • Follow your employer's rules for getting sick pay, typically outlined in your contract of employment or work policy handbook
  • Earn more than £112 per week - which at minimum wage means you must work more than 15.5 hours per week

Unfortunately, you may not be entitled to Statutory Sick Pay if you:

  • Are self-employed
  • Are in the armed forces
  • Are an agricultural worker
  • Earn less than £112 per week
  • Are receiving maternity pay or maternity allowance
  • Have a pregnancy-related illness within the last four weeks of your pregnancy
  • Have already had SSP for 28 weeks and it ended within the last 8 weeks

If you don't think you're entitled, there may be some other benefits available to help support you during your illness or injury.

You can find out more about your benefits and rights by visiting the HMRC website, or by speaking to the Citizen's Advice Bureau.

My contract states a different amount

Your employment contract may state that you're entitled to more sick pay or for a longer period. If this is the case, then your employer is offering more than the basic requirements of statutory sick pay as a condition of your employment with them.

Anything offered above the SSP weekly amount, or offered for a longer time, is promised and guaranteed by your employer and is not regulated by the HMRC.

So, if your employer fails to uphold their promise or you believe you're owed more in sick pay, then you will need to speak to your employer about this or contact the Citizen's Advice Bureau for advice on your entitlement.

However, it is against the law for your employer to provide you with less than statutory sick pay if you're injured or ill. You can be sure you'll receive the basic SSP amount for up to 28 weeks if you're legally entitled to it.

Unfortunately, for many people SSP is not enough to maintain the lifestyles they have when they're healthy and working normal hours. Equally, SSP may not be enough to help cover the costs of your injury, any prescriptions you may now need, or the travel adaptations you may have had to make. Your compensation can help recover this loss of money.

If you've received SSP, or any company agreed sick pay, then this won't count against your compensation. Although the amount of SSP or any form of sick pay you've received will be considered, this is so that we can work out what financial hardship you may have suffered and how much compensation should be recovered.

So, for example, if you've been off work and receiving statutory sick pay for four weeks, then you would approximately receive £354 in SSP over this period.

If your typical weekly earnings were £252, then during a four-week period of illness or injury your loss of earnings would be roughly £654. During your claim your solicitor will look to recover compensation to cover the difference in your earnings.

As your sick pay is taxable, you may or may not receive less than the weekly amount depending on how your tax is calculated. You may also have suffered greater or lesser financial losses depending on the length of your recovery and your yearly salary.

It's also worth noting that you're only entitled to compensation if:

  • You've suffered an injury or illness because of somebody else's negligence or an accident
  • Your accident happened within the last three years
  • You were injured or developed an illness because of this accident

If you're thinking about claiming compensation or are unsure whether you have a claim, please contact us on  for peace of mind. Our calls are free, confidential and you're never under any obligation to make a claim during your call.

How much compensation could you claim?

Because we recognise that people like to know how much their claim might be worth before starting a claim, we've created an industry-leading and completely secure compensation calculator.

Our calculator uses industry data and answers to six questions to work out how much your case could be worth and then provides you with a guideline figure.

As your solicitor negotiates your compensation throughout your claim, working hard to secure you the maximum amount you deserve, your compensation figure may change.

If your employer is refusing to pay your SSP, but you believe you're entitled to it, then you should ask for a written explanation of why they believe you are not eligible for sick pay. You should also contact Her Majesty's Revenue and Customs (HMRC).

The HMRC should be able to help you understand whether you should be receiving Statutory Sick Pay and help you understand your rights and next steps. You can visit the HMRC website here for their contact details.

We recommend that you also make a note of how long you didn't receive SSP for, the written reasons for you being ineligible from your employer and the date you think you should have been receiving SSP from. Information like this will be considered in your claim and will be valuable to your case and compensation.

Once you begin receiving SSP, it's important to keep a note of any letters you receive confirming the amount and start date of your payments too.

If you're not entitled to SSP it may be because you're self-employed, don't earn enough or working in agriculture. If this applies to you, then there are other options for you to receive financial support during your injury.

For example, you may be eligible for Employment and Support Allowance, which is a Government benefit designed to help those who cannot work because of an illness, health condition or disability.

You can read more about Employment and Support Allowance here.

If you're an agricultural worker you have a separate sick pay scheme that guarantees you are paid the Agricultural Minimum Wage while you are away from work. You can read more about the scheme here.

If you think you might be eligible to claim compensation, getting in contact with us is simple. You can call us today for free on. Calls to us are confidential and you're never under any obligation to start your claim.

What we will do is listen to your experience and try to understand the full impact your injury has had on your life and your loved ones. This includes understanding your money worries and the financial impact of your injury on your future, but also understanding the emotional and physical consequences of your injury.

We believe that nobody should be left unsupported and physically and finically worse off because of an accident that wasn't their fault. So if you're finding paying your bills, rent or mortgage hard and have been unfairly injured please don't hesitate to contact us.

We're here to give you free advice. And if you are ready to speak to a solicitor we can usually put you in contact with a specialist on the same call.