Statutory Sick Pay: Are You Eligible?
By Space Coast Daily // April 29, 2022
Sickness is an inevitable part of life – and work. And when it happens, the only thing you can think about is that you’re sick and unable to work. If that’s the case, then you should know a few things about that special type of leave. Not casual leave, not notional or religious holidays and not maternal leave – but statutory sick leave.
What is Statutory Sick Pay?
Statutory sick pay is an amount that employers must pay their workers for the first 28 weeks of their time off due to an illness. This paid sick leave can be either due to a contagious disease, an accident, a disability or if an employee has difficulties doing their job.
This was first introduced in the U.K. in 1983 when employers became responsible for paying sick pay for the first eight weeks of illness, but it was later extended to 28 weeks. That said, since the onset of Covid-19, the need for statutory sick pay has risen. The authorities’ top priority has now been to reward employees during sickness from the virus.
To better manage newly arising situations, they have fixed an amount of 94 pounds a week, an amount that can help those in quarantines and their caretakers.
But a global pandemic isn’t the only reason to ask for SSP. The idea behind it is to receive a safety net for when you’re sick for four or more days so you can recover, knowing you’re still being paid some money even if you’re unable to work. It’s the peace of mind that it confers by reducing stress and worry over lack of money. As long as you’re eligible, you have a statutory right to receive SSP regardless of the size of your business.
Are you eligible for statutory sick pay?
For workers to get statutory pay, they must have an employment contract. They’re eligible for statutory sick pay as long as they:
■ Work for a legal employer
■ You are sick for full 4 days or more in a row (including weekends)
■ Earn at least £123 per week (before tax)
■ are in the eligible categories
■ follow the employer’s guidelines for getting sick pay
In simple terms, you’re eligible for sick pay whenever you’re too sick to work, including weekends, but few exceptions exist.
■ You must achieve the sickness period criteria for getting compensation
■ You can’t qualify for SSP if you’re self-employed
■ You can’t qualify for SSP if you’ve received maternity pay
■ You can’t qualify if you’ve received a maximum of sick leave of 28 weeks.
However, you’re still eligible for sick pay if you’re a part-time worker or work on a fixed-term contract.
As a part-time or casual employee, you might be entitled to statutory sick leave till the end of your next assignment. But if you get ill and you’re not working, you won’t be entitled to SSP.
Common Reasons for SSP:
■ You’re in the hospital – If you’re eligible for statutory sick pay, you should get it as long as you stay in the hospital.
■ You’re unable to work – According to MedicalNegligenceClaimsCare.org.uk, you’re unable to work because of clinical or medical negligence. If you can prove that medical negligence was the cause of your injuries and that those injuries caused your time off work, you’re entitled to SSP.
■ You’re retiring – If you’re retiring and get your state pension, you’re then eligible to receive sick pay as long as you qualify.
■ You’re back to work after getting maternity pay – If you get sick during or before the maternity pay period, you can claim SSP until eight weeks after your maternity pay ends.
Claiming Statutory Sick Pay
The way you can claim SSP can vary from one firm to another. Employers may have their own rules about how you should prove that you cannot work. It’s your duty to notify your employer within seven days of becoming ill, but some companies simply have a shorter deadline.
Proof of Sickness
If you’re missing work more than seven days in a row (including non-working days), you must give your employer proof of sickness. Usually, that means you need not fill a form provided by your employer for the first week you are unable to work.
You can also obtain a “sick note” from a hospital doctor. Your podiatrist, physiotherapist, or occupational therapist can provide a similar document, but your employees must agree with it.
To claim your SSP, you need to inform your employer that you’re ill and unable to work as soon as possible. Because companies can have different procedures in relation to how and when you should report your health problem, make sure you check this directly with your employer.
If your employer refuses to offer sick pay, for example, he or she says they can afford to pay, you can take legal steps to get the financial support you’re owed.
If you have all the right reasons to be entitled to statutory sick pay, but your company still refuses to pay it, you can contact the tax authority of the U.K. government or the HMRC’s Statutory Payments Disputes Agent.
Employers have a duty to track every time an employee takes sick leave and whether they’re entitled to it or not. Be it statutory sick pay or any other type of leave, companies must keep in mind the rights of their employees. Paying workers on their sick days benefits not only the employees but the companies as a whole.