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Sickness: Your Rights

By: Jeff Durham - Updated: 13 Oct 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 £116 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]
I was off Thursday n friday with knee injection from clinic then over wk end has sickness n tummy bug which went into Monday . Work are saying it's 2 sickness occasions as two different reasons ,i would think it's 1 continuous sickness as not want back to work then off again . Which is right .
Tucker - 13-Oct-18 @ 12:09 PM
I was in hospital for three days and absent from my new job as a result of my pregnancy causing me to become dehydrated, I was informed on my return to work that the company have made the decision not to pay me for my absence die to sickness as I am still in my probationary period.I believe the company still do have a discretion to consider paying me for this period of absence as it was due to pregnancy related illness?
jemmycw - 13-Oct-18 @ 12:37 AM
My daughter was in hospital and off work for a week she put in a sick note but hadn't been paid they now say they can't find her sick notehave they still got to pay her
Lissy - 12-Oct-18 @ 12:58 PM
I was ill Saturday went in Monday but was sick so had to go home went back Tuesday but could not stop been sick so had to go home again went to see the doctor Wednesday and he gave me a sick note for the rest of the week I called in to give it to work nd my boss would note take the sick note from me just saying no no no, now I'm been told that he's guna contact me about my future there can he do that .
ky - 11-Oct-18 @ 9:30 AM
I have been off work with breathing problems and a bad chest infection for 6 days now (including my day off and weekends). My work have asked for me to come back in tomorrow for a half day to get back into the swing of things. Will this affect me being paid my SSP whilst I have been off for the past 6 days or do I loose everything now? Thanks.
S - 10-Oct-18 @ 5:15 PM
Hi i was signed off sick from October 2017 and was in receipt of ssp for the 28weeks I was entitled to. I then made a claim for ESA which has taken 6months 2sort out. I have now been informed that I do not qualify 4 ESA or any other benefits as I can't claim universal credits as I have 3children and other benefits because my husband works. We have struggled and ran up over thousands of pounds due to utility bills and have needed the help of the local food bank seen I have had no income 4the whole 6months?? To make matters worse my husband has injured his back and is out of work now on sick leave and I seriously don't know hope 2cope much longer. If anyone knows of any help I would very much appreciate it, thanks x
Wkd - 7-Oct-18 @ 5:54 PM
Hi,submitted a sick note on the 1/10/2018,it is now the6/10/2018, wen should I receive payment?
Polly - 6-Oct-18 @ 6:21 PM
I was off sick two days and I went to return to work 48 hours after last sickness occurred and I was sent home by a manager due to they wasn’t told I was fit to work, they knew last time of sickness and knew I was coming into work, got cover for my shift but didn’t tell me until I turned up and started my shift where do I stand cause in my eyes they are in the wrong
Gary Dack - 6-Oct-18 @ 11:12 AM
I was off.work for 8 weeks I have now returned to work and was due a holiday next month now my work is saying I did not work enough hoursbecausei was off sick even though i handed in a doctors line, and now I can't get my holiday. Can they do this to me I work a zero hour contract,
Moomoo - 6-Oct-18 @ 9:12 AM
I had a minor wrist injury a few days before a company’s important event that I must turn up. I notified my employer my injury. Must I tell him everyday that I am not able to work on the day? Or just show up when I feel better
Amanda - 6-Oct-18 @ 8:42 AM
I had an operation 5 days ago and need to see a nurse every day im struggling with my job at work and have asked the manager for a couple of days off and to use some of my holidays but he keeps ignoring me what do i do?
laws - 26-Sep-18 @ 8:03 PM
I have been off 4 years sick I receive standard pip and esa but I am still employed my work has not contacted me in over 1 year it's as if I don't exist surely they have a duty of care I have been employed with my employer for 16 years my illness are meneries, spinal stetonis, and depression
Shaz - 20-Sep-18 @ 9:28 AM
I will be going into hospital soon as i have cancer of bowel and liver however my contract at work runs out end of october. When my contract finishes what will happen to my ssp. Will i still be able to claim this from somewhere else
Jen - 16-Sep-18 @ 5:22 PM
Mag - Your Question:
Hi, I have been off from work for 17 days after operation due to recovery. My company have Occupational Sick Pay shame that is 15 days. They have paid me for 15 days but not for these extra two. My question is, I am entitled to clam Statutory Sick Pay for these two days?

Our Response:
Statutory Sick Pay not payable during the first three days of sickness.
SafeWorkers - 14-Sep-18 @ 12:26 PM
Hi, I have been off from work for 17 days after operation due to recovery. My company have Occupational Sick Pay shame that is 15 days. They have paid me for 15 days but not for these extra two. My question is, I am entitled to clam Statutory Sick Pay for these two days?
Mag - 13-Sep-18 @ 9:09 AM
Hi my husband has taken over his alloted sick but all of it but 2 days are from sick notes from the Dr as he was not fit for work due to an operation they have now said that the are generation a letter for dismissal can they do this as I thought if you were signed off on the sick by a Dr it was them that was saying you are unfit to work not you
Shaz - 11-Sep-18 @ 2:17 PM
Platty - Your Question:
Hi. I've been off work from a road traffic accident in January. I recieved my P45 from the accountants that deal with paying my wages. I have not claimed sickness benefits as I only worked 8 hours. I thought I had been sacked. I found out this morning that after all this time they thought I was going back to work. They said they haven't sacked me. They said the P45 was automatically generated because I wasn't claiming wages or benefits. Is this true? I've been three months thinking I was out of a job!

Our Response:
Some types of software may generate a P45 if no wages or ssp are being paid yes.
SafeWorkers - 10-Sep-18 @ 11:55 AM
Hi. I've been off work from a road traffic accident in January. I recieved my P45 fromthe accountants that deal with paying my wages. I have not claimed sickness benefitsas I only worked 8 hours. I thought I had been sacked. I found out this morning that after all this time they thought I was going back to work. They said they haven't sacked me. They said the P45 was automatically generated because I wasn't claiming wages or benefits. Is this true? I've been three months thinking I was out of a job!
Platty - 3-Sep-18 @ 12:17 PM
My employer has made me pay sick pay to them. I. E have deducted it from my salary. Is this cause I’ve taken over my sick day limit?
Lael - 1-Sep-18 @ 12:18 AM
I have had 2 days of sick, and I have been asked to fill a return to work form, on it it ask if I give consent for them to contact my doctor, if I give consent and they do contact him, and what is he allowed to tell them?
Shell123 - 31-Aug-18 @ 10:08 AM
If I had my self cert in after 4 weeks along with fit note can my employer say it's too late 4 weeks it should have been given in after 7 days. Also if I've only worked there 4 months on zero hours can they say I need to claim ssp direct from benefits as they do t need to pay it.
Dboss - 28-Aug-18 @ 1:48 AM
AnnieB - Your Question:
Can I be signed off 1 p/time job due to stress while working another if doc deems ok? Can’t find anything that mentions it in employment contract or sickness/absence policy

Our Response:
Yes as long as your employer doesn't consider the jobs similar or your contract addresses this in some way.
SafeWorkers - 24-Aug-18 @ 2:31 PM
Can I be signed off 1 p/time job due to stress while working another if doc deems ok? Can’t find anything that mentions it in employment contract or sickness/absence policy
AnnieB - 21-Aug-18 @ 11:25 PM
How many written warnings does an employer usually give before they dismiss you
Sue - 20-Aug-18 @ 9:28 PM
My partner is off sick and his company have said he has to make up the time he’s had off as they are behind on the order.Can they do this?
Lou - 17-Aug-18 @ 3:27 PM
Hannahj - Your Question:
If I have a amended shift pattern 8-5 signed by the company and any other shifts do not apply to myself, if I went home at 11am due to a migraine and slept it off, then come 9pm that night I go out wirh my boyfriend as I am now feeling fine. There is a post on Facebook. And my work have screen shotted this and saved this to their phone. Is this allowed ? As they are asking why I went out ? When I’ve told them I was feeling upto it. I didn’t know what I done outside of my agreed hours is anything to do with them?

Our Response:
This depends on your employers' policy really.
SafeWorkers - 15-Aug-18 @ 11:20 AM
Can an employer control what you do when your off sick .. ie go out, football match etc ? Also if you go over the 7 days self certification,am I right in saying that you only need a sick note from the date when the SC ended? Not the entirety of the sickness?
Kinga050900 - 14-Aug-18 @ 7:23 PM
If I have a amended shift pattern 8-5 signed by the company and any other shifts do not apply to myself, if I went home at 11am due to a migraine and slept it off, then come 9pm that night I go out wirh my boyfriend as I am now feeling fine. There is a post on Facebook. And my work have screen shotted this and saved this to their phone.Is this allowed ? As they are asking why I went out ? When I’ve told them I was feeling upto it. I didn’t know what I done outside of my agreed hours is anything to do with them?
Hannahj - 14-Aug-18 @ 4:58 PM
Dazzer16 - Your Question:
I have been on the sick for 6 weeks due to an rta, I went back to work for a week and relapsed, do I have to start all over again with a self certification or will this carry on from previous sick weeks as it’s a small period of time?

Our Response:
If you have regular periods of sickness, they may count as ‘linked’. To be linked, the periods must:
last 4 or more days each
be 8 weeks or less apart
SafeWorkers - 13-Aug-18 @ 2:53 PM
I have been on the sick for 6 weeks due to an rta, I went back to work for a week and relapsed, do I have to start all over again with a self certification or will this carry on from previous sick weeks as it’s a small period of time?
Dazzer16 - 13-Aug-18 @ 10:52 AM
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