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Sickness: Your Rights

By: Jeff Durham - Updated: 16 Jun 2018 | comments*Discuss
 
Sickness At Work Statutory Sick Pay

Whether you love your job or you loathe it, there is every chance that there will come a point when you are not well enough to do it.

At the start of any new job, it's very important to know if you are entitled to sick days off. Most permanent, full-time employees are allotted a number of days each year in which they can call in sick and still receive their full wages. But this is entirely up to the company so it's important not to rely on it. Read your Contract of Employment carefully.

The First Day you Cannot go to Work

It is important to contact your employer (or have someone contact them on your behalf) on the very first day you cannot attend work due to sickness to tell them that you won't be coming to work. You should know who to notify beforehand, where to send in medical certificates, any rules concerning self-certification and also what's likely to happen if you fail to comply with any of these rules.

If your employment contract offers you sick pay, then you will be paid as usual. If you aren't covered, you won't be paid by your company.

Statutory Sick Pay (SSP)

If you are still sick after 4 days and unable to return to work, you are likely to be eligible for Statutory Sick Pay (SSP). This is the minimum amount employers must pay you by law. To be eligible to receive SSP, you must adhere to the following:
  • Earn at least £113 per week for tax year 2018-19
  • Be between 16 and 65 years of age
  • Have performed some work under your employment contract
  • Be sick for 4 or more consecutive days
However, SSP is not paid if you were in receipt of Incapacity Benefit within the past 8 weeks before seeking to claim SSP or if you are in the Maternity Allowance period.

How to Claim SSP

Once you meet all the requirements of SSP, your employer will send you the correct documents for you to make a claim. For an absence of a week or less, a self-certification completed by you is all that is usually required to confirm your illness. After a week, you need to provide a doctor's note.

How Much You Will Receive

  • Employees who qualify can get up to £92.05 a week in tax year 2018-19. If you get contractual sick pay, you may receive more than this but you cannot receive less. You will not get paid for the first 3 days of your sickness unless you were receiving SSP at any time within the past 8 weeks prior to your latest illness. In that event, you would be paid from your first day off at work.
  • You can receive SSP for up to 28 weeks for a total of 3 years. However, you must return to work for at least 8 weeks before commencing another 28 week period.
  • If you have a persistent illness and are still unable to return to work after 28 weeks, you may be able to claim Employment Support Allowance (ESA) but you cannot receive SSP and ESA at the same time.
  • You receive SSP in the same way as you would receive your regular pay
  • If your employment ends whilst you are in receipt of SSP, your payments will stop
  • SSP is not affected if you have to go into hospital
  • If you work abroad you may be able to get SSP if your employer is liable to pay National Insurance contributions for you
  • If you go abroad to visit, SSP can still be paid provided you can prove you are still sick
  • If SSP is your only income whilst you are off sick, you may be entitled to receive other benefits in addition, such as housing benefit

What if I'm Dismissed for Being Off Sick?

If you are dismissed whilst in receipt of SSP, your employer must give you form SSP1 which explains why they are no longer paying you SSP. You should complete the form and take it to your local job centre plus. If you believe you have been dismissed because you are ill or in receipt of SSP, you may be able to complain to an Employment Tribunal and should seek advice from an experienced employment advisor at your local benefit office.

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[Add a Comment]
Why nobody answers back to me? Why people are making differences?please respond, I need your help!
Sportsdirect bullied - 16-Jun-18 @ 11:04 AM
I have been off work due to a mental illness since about the end of April and as I am currently on Statutory Sick Pay I am struggling. The Doctor has me signed off for as long as I need but would I be able to somehow get some work part-time so I could get some extra money coming in?
Steve - 15-Jun-18 @ 3:12 PM
Buck - Your Question:
On the sick, after shoulder surgery,handed my sick note in.The boss said don't need this,I left it with him.He said we are keeping you on the books, what does that mean,am I going to get paid.

Our Response:
Why don't you ask your boss? We would assume it to mean that, but as we don't have any knowledge of the type of contract you have, we can't really comment.
SafeWorkers - 15-Jun-18 @ 2:23 PM
On the sick, after shoulder surgery,handed my sick note in.The boss said don't need this,I left it with him.He said we are keeping you on the books, what does that mean,am I going to get paid.
Buck - 14-Jun-18 @ 3:27 PM
I haven’t received any response back in regards with my bullying situation, please try and give me some advice, I am desperate!
Sportsdirect bullied - 13-Jun-18 @ 5:10 PM
Sunshine - Your Question:
I have just let my Manager that l will not be coming to work as my child is sick and l am a single parent.She was very cross with me because Sale is starting tomorrow and told me l need to bring a certificate from the A& E to prove that l took my child there for the company's records? By law l am supposed to provide this?

Our Response:
Check your employer's policy on this. In terms of the law, as an employee you’re allowed time off to deal with an emergency involving a dependant. This can be unpaid. This leave allowance is only for a short time while you take a child to the doctor or arrange alternative childcare it is not for taking entire days off etc.
SafeWorkers - 13-Jun-18 @ 3:19 PM
I've been managing a chronic back problem for several months. I've had a fair bit of tone off but there have been many times where I'm in severe pain but because I'm a manger I feel like I have to go in as we are so short staffed.shiujd I be made to feel or take on this pressures as I don't believe this is right
Kinger - 11-Jun-18 @ 8:36 PM
I am on sick leave after having a foot operation and work have contacted me twice to see if I can go in as they are short staffed, can they do that? And if I was to go in how would it affect my pay ?
Amy - 11-Jun-18 @ 2:29 PM
T- Your Question:
I have been signed off for 2 weeks with anxiety and insomnia and do not wish to return. When can I send in my resignation

Our Response:
You can resign whenever you choose as long as you serve your required notice - this can be while you're on sick leave.
SafeWorkers - 11-Jun-18 @ 2:17 PM
Hello, I have been signed off with severe depression and anxiety since March 2017 after I had been bullied at work by my managers, I had tried to go back to work several times but haven’t received any help, instead the bullying continued. I’ve been in situations where I had tried to take my life taking more overdoses and my life changed completely since, I am not well to go back to that place anymore, I am traumatised and going through panic attack’s 3-4 times a week...in the last few months I had tried to get some help from some authorised people, but no one wanted to help me get over this situation, I had suffered financial loss because of these situation, and have been declared bankrupt with a depth of 30 thousand pounds, I don’t know what to do anymore, no lowers responded to my questions, nobody tried to help me with the situation, I am desperate and I am looking to get some support and advice because I don’t know what to do because I don’t have any finances. Until now I went through a grievance and made an appeal, but with no luck, they are trying to hide the truth, not responding to my questions, I have witnesses which can confirm the situation I had been exposed to. Please try and help me, I am desperate and feel like I am alone in this matter. I have never been in this kind of situation before and I don’t know how to respond and do...please help me with some advice. After the appeal I had received a response from the company after 5 months of waiting saying that they can offer me a position in a different store, but I am not well enough mentally, I had suffered a trauma, and I can not work again for this company. Please give me some advise or if anyone can help me, please do because I am alone and mentally sick, I have no money, no power, and I am not in a state where I can sue the company.
Sportsdirect bullied - 10-Jun-18 @ 10:07 PM
I have just let my Manager that l will not be coming to work as my child is sick and l am a single parent. She was very cross with me because Sale is starting tomorrow and told me l need to bring a certificate from the A& E to prove that l took my child there for the company's records? By law l am supposed to provide this?
Sunshine - 10-Jun-18 @ 8:09 AM
Josie - Your Question:
I am currently off sick with labyrinthitis and have been since February 18. I have been trying to get back to work since after Easter and my new line manager isn't helping me get back. She is supposed to be sorting a lot of things out and isn't. I don't hear much from her either. I have to remind her of appointments that need to be arranged. I eventually had a chat with Occupational Health a week ago today who said I was OK to go back to work and to contact my line manager. I rang my line manager and her phone was switched off so left a voicemail and text. She text me the next day saying I'm not to go back to work and got funny about the conversation I had with Occupational Health and that they haven't got the right to tell me what to do. What do I do about this situation please?

Our Response:
If you have been declared fit for work you should usually be allowed straight back to work. Contact ACAS or a trade union rep for specific advice on your own case as we don't have enough information.
SafeWorkers - 8-Jun-18 @ 3:22 PM
knuckles - Your Question:
My partner has been told by their boss that if they have a sick day they HAVE to take it as a holiday, are they allowed to do that?

Our Response:
No.Employers cannot force employees to take annual leave when they’re eligible for sick leave.
SafeWorkers - 8-Jun-18 @ 2:18 PM
I have been signed off for 2 weeks with anxiety and insomnia and do not wish to return. When can I send in my resignation
T - 8-Jun-18 @ 1:01 PM
I am currently off sick with labyrinthitis and have been since February 18.I have been trying to get back to work since after Easter and my new line manager isn't helping me get back. She is supposed to be sorting a lot of things out and isn't.. I don't hear much from her either. I have to remind her of appointments that need to be arranged.I eventually had a chat with Occupational Health a week ago today who said I was OK to go back to work and to contact my line manager. I rang my line manager and her phone was switched off so left a voicemail and text.. She text me the next day saying I'm not to go back to work and got funny about the conversation I had with Occupational Health and that they haven't got the right to tell me what to do. What do I do about this situation please?
Josie - 7-Jun-18 @ 2:02 PM
I am currently on SSP after knee replacements. I am not far off returning to work as it is two months now and have a paper till the end of the month. My employer has offered me to go in for a few hours one or two daysif I want to help me back in slowly. Do I need to get a paper to say I am fit for work? If I do this I won't be paid sick money for the other 4 days that I am not working. Or can I go in and not be paid
Nannie Ange - 7-Jun-18 @ 8:03 AM
My partner has been told by their boss that if they have a sick day they HAVE to take it as a holiday, are they allowed to do that?
knuckles - 7-Jun-18 @ 12:27 AM
Hi advice please My work are refusing to pay me sick pay because they said from January 2018 to April 2018I have not earn on average116 a week I have only earned 115.19 so are not paying me I have been of now for 6 weeks and havenot been paid I only work 16 hours a week ..
Cc - 29-May-18 @ 7:46 PM
Hello, I work for Barclays for nearly 10 years now . I have been in long term sickess since June last year and been paid sick pay in full . Yet 1st of December 2017 thet send me a letter saying they will stop paying as of 5/01/18 or after . Though my sick pay stopped already as of December 2017. I contacted HR to be advised that they inform ill employees that their salary will stop and go to nil 1 week prior to this happening . I ended up homeless in a way ( staing at various friends since January ) . Can you please help and advise are they ok to do so ? They knew that I will be still of in December half way through November . Are they not legally obligued to inform their employees about stopping sick pay sooner ? I ended up with no many and no where to live in a matter of 3weeks and find it appalling but Barclays say yes it's ok to let me know last minute . I would be greatful for your help
JLink - 25-May-18 @ 6:25 PM
Big Dog - Your Question:
HiI’ve had major surgery, and been unable to work, not through any fault off my own, my boss said he would continue to pay me while I was off as long as I kept handing in my sick notes, I’ve just been informed off him that he’s going to have to stop paying in full soon, I’m just wondering what is my next steps as I have rent to pay etc, I don’t know my way around the benefit system, or what I might be intitled too, if he’s only going to pay me sick pay, how do I claim help with rent and council tax etc etc Thanks

Our Response:
Your employer may stop paying your company sick pay but your Statutory Sick Pay should continue for 28 weeks assuming you are eligible (see article above). If your 28 weeks are up and it's actually your SSP that's run out, you should enquire about Employment and Support Allowance here
SafeWorkers - 23-May-18 @ 3:28 PM
If I started work in February and two weeks ago my boss assaulted me and now I'm on sick till the police and solicitor have sorted it do I still get payed on review like trial.
Mand - 22-May-18 @ 3:56 PM
Hi I’ve had major surgery, and been unable to work, not through any fault off my own, my boss said he would continue to pay me while I was off as long as I kept handing in my sick notes, I’ve just been informed off him that he’s going to have to stop paying in full soon, I’m just wondering what is my next steps as I have rent to pay etc, I don’t know my way around the benefit system, or what I might be intitled too, if he’s only going to pay me sick pay, how do I claim help with rent and council tax etc etc Thanks
Big Dog - 22-May-18 @ 2:05 PM
I’m a civil servant, I started my work in June 2017 and I had several periods of sickness at the start due to a stomach problem that is under investigation. I hit 4 absences (which is the limit, so fair enough) and had a formal review etc and 6 months no sickness after, I passed my review period in February with flying colours. Now last month I broke my leg/ankle, badly, I had an operation to secure it with plates and screws and am still non-weight bearing and will be until late May. I have been told by doctors I can return to work in early June. However I have now been informed that they are passing my case on to see if I’m to be dismissed? I understand the other sicknesses were too many but breaking your leg isn’t something you can cope with, it was a freak accident and not my fault, I had no sickness for 6 months prior to breaking my leg. If I’d broken my leg in July it would have been fine. I want to go back to work and I need the employment, I can’t afford to live off social benefits and who’s going to hire someone with a boot on who can’t walk much (in June that’ll be) and who has months of physio therapy etc ahead?
Teggypegs - 17-May-18 @ 11:06 AM
Every single commenter is a scrounger. Just get over yourself. Why should an employer pay you for months just for doing nothing. Stop exploiting the system.
Realist - 16-May-18 @ 3:35 AM
Paulsie - Your Question:
I am suffer of arthritis and joint pain I had to take time of work due to suffering pain I had a holiday booked due to being unable to work.My employer said they could not pay sick pay and holiday pay I was told your not sick you are managing your condition.therefore you are not sick but I still got denied my holiday pay.

Our Response:
Here's what ACAS says "If an employee turns holiday leave to sick leave, they should expect to receive sick pay only, because they are unfit to do the job during that period."
SafeWorkers - 15-May-18 @ 3:13 PM
i have been off sick for 24 weeks due to being diagnosed with type 1 diabetis which i have trying to get under control. i have given my employer sick notes and put the last one through his door ( no office and wont ans phone to me) i said i would like to return to work on mon 4th june when my 28 weeks are up. He hasnt ans me ive sent texts no reply. Not sure what to do next
sue - 14-May-18 @ 9:08 PM
Angie - Your Question:
HiI have been off work sick for a few months, I was invited in for a meeting with my manager with no HR present, (I asked my husband along to support) They advised me that I would be getting paid off due to being on long term sick. I asked if I would be entitled to any financial compensation, they said no.I have been working in the same job for 15 years with no absence before.Can you advise, if what they are trying to do is right?

Our Response:
Unfortunately an employer can decide to dismiss an employee because of their sick record, even if they are a long term. If your sickness is covered by the Equality Act (i.e cancer, HIV infection, multiple sclerosis etc) you may be able to claim that you have been discriminated against. Take a look at this list for more information
SafeWorkers - 14-May-18 @ 2:12 PM
Hi I have been off work sick for a few months, I was invited in for a meeting with my manager with no HR present, (I asked my husband along to support) They advised me that I would be getting paid off due to being on long term sick.I asked if I would be entitled to any financial compensation, they said no. I have been working in the same job for 15 years with no absence before. Can you advise, if what they are trying to do is right?
Angie - 14-May-18 @ 10:35 AM
I amsufferofarthritisandjointpain ihadtotaketimeofworkdue to suffering painihadaholiday bookedduetobeingunabletowork.Myemployer saidtheycouldnotpaysickpayandholidaypayiwastoldyournotsickyou aremanagingyourcondition.thereforeyouarenotsickbutistillgotdeniedmyholidaypay.
Paulsie - 11-May-18 @ 9:24 PM
Hi I've got have 4 weeks of work for a op can I get any help paying my rent as have 4 kids and my wife does not get much money thanks
Matthew Parr - 7-May-18 @ 9:54 PM
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