Home > Health & Wellbeing > Sickness: Your Rights

Sickness: Your Rights

By: Jeff Durham - Updated: 20 Oct 2017 | 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 2017-18
  • 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 £89.35 a week in tax year 2017-18. 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.

You might also like...
Share Your Story, Join the Discussion or Seek Advice..
[Add a Comment]
Sorry saw few spelling missaps there basically was asked if I need to take time off work and claim sick I could I said I'm fine can't afford to be off they said if they fill I'm not well enough to work they could sigh me off can they do this and tell me to return when I'm better if think they were asking in a nice round about way but really wanted me to say ok yer .
KC - 20-Oct-17 @ 5:23 PM
Had my appraisalwith both mangers todaybeen unwell for a while being treated for fibromyalgia so some days have really bad flear ups at work which means I sometimes can't do certain things ,have had odd day off for hospital and flear up was ask if I would like to take time off to get better said I can't afford it and was told I can claim sick ,when I said no they said but if we think you are not well enough they can sighme offis this ture and are the saying in a round about way they want me out.they are saying it'd not for everyone not so sure.
KC - 20-Oct-17 @ 5:13 PM
Kerrywilco - Your Question:
HelloI work for an agency and had to take sick with a viral eye infection. When I went in to hand in my sick certificate I was immediately dismissed. Can this be done. All I was told was, you better take it to the job centre because you dont work here anymore. Refusing to accept the certificate. Your advice would be appreciated.

Our Response:
How long have you worked for this employer? Have you had any other sickness absences? What is your employer's usual disciplinary/dismissal policy?
SafeWorkers - 18-Oct-17 @ 3:35 PM
Hello I work for an agency and had to take sick with a viral eye infection.When I went in to hand in my sick certificate I was immediately dismissed.Can this be done.All I was told was, you better take it to the job centre because you dont work here anymore.Refusing to accept the certificate.Your advice would be appreciated.
Kerrywilco - 17-Oct-17 @ 6:36 PM
Hello After an injury at work I handed a 2 week doctor's note explaining I was unfit for work My employer has stopped my pay while I was on sick leave stating that I wasn't cooperatingbecause I didn't speak to anyone for a week. They have told me I didn't follow procedures can they do that even though they haven't arranged a specific time scale between contact? Cheers for any advice
Frank - 11-Oct-17 @ 10:44 PM
Hi I have been off work for 6 moths due to a work related accident ( not my fault ) i have 3 torn tendens in my shoulder and am waiting for surgery as i cant raise my arm above chest level and i think i am going to be off work for at least another 3 months can the company dismiss me on medical grounds and if so could i claim compensationas am 62 and little chance of finding another full time job Regards Anthony
Robbo - 6-Oct-17 @ 2:12 PM
Lj - Your Question:
Hi I’ve been off work for nearly 28weeks and my ssp is coming to an end my employer has sent me the ssp1 form do I need to take it to the job centre as I am now going onto half pay for 6 months and won’t qualify for any benefits.

Our Response:
You should send the form to the job centre and give full details of your circumstances. They will simply tell you you're not entitled to ESA if that is the case.
SafeWorkers - 3-Oct-17 @ 12:48 PM
Suminoe- Your Question:
I was signed off sick with depression after months of sustained bullying from my line manager. I raised grievance against my manager but for tactical reasons the company rejected it (quoting that they believe my statements but did not have sufficient (written) evidence to uphold my complaint). My manager abused me orally during our 121s and late (after 7pm), when no-one was in the office, hence I could not produce any witnesses to what's been said to me (mocking my accent, calling me stupid). I was entitled to 16 weeks of SSP but wanted to return to work earlier as the medication and time off work really helped me to feel better. However, HR advised that I stay on medical leave until my grievance is resolved. I followed their advice, but after the grievance was rejected, and returning to work with my current manager rolled out, HR asked me to sign myself off sick for another month while I am looking for roles internally. This sounds totally ridiculous and I think this is illegal to make an employee to go on medical leave if they are fit to work. I am also concerned that my SSP pay will stop soon, but there was no other alternative presented by HR to ensure I am being paid while still employed but looking for another internal role. Any advice ?

Our Response:
We don't think your employer is acting correctly here, but there is obviously a lot more involved than is possible for you to write in a short comment. Your best option would be to call the ACAS helpline or use the online chat to get some individual advice.
SafeWorkers - 3-Oct-17 @ 12:42 PM
Vall - Your Question:
I've been off sick for my full 28 weeks a d I haven't had my pps1 from my manager but she has sent me my p45 and wage slips. what should I do

Our Response:
Ask your employer? If your sick pay has run out, your employer will usually complete the SSP1 form and give it you.
SafeWorkers - 2-Oct-17 @ 12:24 PM
Hi I’ve been off work for nearly 28weeks and my ssp is coming to an end my employer has sent me the ssp1 form do I need to take it to the job centre as I am now going onto half pay for 6 months and won’t qualify for any benefits.
Lj - 1-Oct-17 @ 4:21 PM
I was signed off sick with depression after months of sustained bullying from my line manager. I raised grievance against my manager but for tactical reasons the company rejected it (quoting that they believe my statements but did not have sufficient (written) evidence to uphold my complaint). My manager abused me orally during our 121s and late (after 7pm), when no-one was in the office, hence I could not produce any witnesses to what's been said to me (mocking my accent, calling me stupid). I was entitled to 16 weeks of SSP but wanted to return to work earlier as the medication and time off work really helped me to feel better. However, HR advised that I stay on medical leave until my grievance is resolved. I followed their advice, but after the grievance was rejected, and returning to work with my current manager rolled out, HR asked me to sign myself off sick for another month while I am looking for roles internally. This sounds totally ridiculous and I think this is illegal to make an employee to go on medical leave if they are fit to work. I am also concerned that my SSP pay will stop soon, but there was no other alternative presented by HR to ensure I am being paid while still employed but looking for another internal role. Any advice ?
Suminoe - 1-Oct-17 @ 11:58 AM
I've been off sick for my full 28 weeks a d i haven't had my pps1 from my manager but she has sent me my p45 and wage slips... what should I do
Vall - 29-Sep-17 @ 10:38 AM
Gill - Your Question:
I've been off work for 3 months I'm being payed ssp I'm waiting on a diagnosis of fibromyalgia but my employer keeps sending me letters to attend a meeting with them what ate my rights as I'm too sore to attend

Our Response:
Contact your employer, they might be able to arrange for someone to visit you at home or a phone interview. Ignoring them will not help matters.
SafeWorkers - 27-Sep-17 @ 3:08 PM
I've been off work for 3 months I'm being payed ssp I'm waiting on a diagnosis of fibromyalgia but my employer keeps sending me letters to attend a meeting with them what ate my rights as I'm too sore to attend
Gill - 26-Sep-17 @ 10:57 AM
Gforce - Your Question:
Should your employer write or inform you that you have now gone onto ssp?

Our Response:
No, your employer will automatically pay statutory sick pay from the day you became entitled to it. If there is a company sick pay scheme, your sick pay will start when that ends. You will be able to find details of this in your company handbook or your employment contract.
SafeWorkers - 25-Sep-17 @ 12:39 PM
Dotty - Your Question:
I have received my ssp1 form as I've been sick for 28 weeks and need to claim esa does this mean I no longer have a job??

Our Response:
No, you can claim ESA while you're still officially employed, but your SSP has run out.
SafeWorkers - 22-Sep-17 @ 2:29 PM
Should your employer write or inform you that you have now gone onto ssp?
Gforce - 22-Sep-17 @ 10:22 AM
I took up a full time permanent post in August 2017. However I developed a complex medical problem which has resulted in my being signed off sick for 4 weeks; with no definite return date. Can my employer terminate my contract ?
None - 21-Sep-17 @ 4:49 PM
I have received my ssp1 form as I've been sick for 28 weeks and need to claim esa does this mean i no longer have a job??
Dotty - 21-Sep-17 @ 11:36 AM
I'm applied working tax credit benefits 16.08.17 in 23.08.17 I going to sick not .Do I need to change benefits?
Elena - 18-Sep-17 @ 11:40 AM
Charley - Your Question:
Hi - I've been off sick for roughly five months, 3 of which were fully paid. I'm ready to go back to work but I don't want to go back to that job as it was really stressful. Are there any issues with this, would I have to pay back the sick pay if I didn't go back to the company?

Our Response:
You do not have to repay Statutory Sick Pay but depending on your employer's policy, you may have to repay company sick pay.
SafeWorkers - 7-Sep-17 @ 11:24 AM
Hi - I've been off sick for roughly five months, 3 of which were fully paid. I'm ready to go back to work but I don't want to go back to that job as it was really stressful. Are there any issues with this, would I have to pay back the sick pay if I didn't go back to the company?
Charley - 5-Sep-17 @ 3:17 PM
I received a Fit Note from my local GP which signed me off work for 2 weeks due to stress and anxiety, which was primarily associated with life at home. After speaking again with my GP they have now signed me off with a further 4 weeks. My HR representative was, at the time, seemingly very understanding and shocked to hear that I wasn't well and had been suffering in recent times.I can only hope that they can continue to understand should I need the further full 4 weeks, however if they do not appreciate the second Fit Note do they have grounds for sacking?
IzzieSmith - 5-Sep-17 @ 2:22 AM
I have been out sick for 4 weeks my contract hours are 20 tho since my first week working in the place i have done 38 hours when i came to sick pay i only got 20 hours payed to me even tho its says in my contact all holidays and sick pay will be payed pro rata. I have spoke to the work about this and there sayin its doesnt when it does and i have a copy of my contract though im not fit to travel to work to prove it how can i insure i get what im entitled to?
darren - 25-Aug-17 @ 9:44 AM
Swifty - Your Question:
I've been signed off sick for past 2 weeks due to car crash and back problems. Been in regular contact with my place of work during this time. Advised I wanted a stage return for 2 weeks to get me back to work. However told as 2 weeks don't count as long term sick I can't do this. Therefore had no alternative but to be signed off for another 2 weeks as would struggle to do full time hours atm. However my Manager has now got occupational health involved and is coming round my house 2 weeks and 2 days after being off work. Confused if this is allowed as not long term sick. Please advise. Feel like I'm being put under unfair pressure.

Our Response:
If you've asked to go back to work on a staged return, your employer can choose to have an occupational health assessment carried out. Surely you consider this to be a good thing?
SafeWorkers - 23-Aug-17 @ 1:00 PM
I hurt my back was in servere pain so I rang in sick and advised my manager. I was asked if I was going to the doctor to get some stronger painkillers I said yes. I rang in the next day to update my manager I told her that I had an appointment. She asked me whether I will be in for the rest of the week, I said no. To which she said well you're on annual leave the following week. Ring me tomorrow let me know what the doctors said and what he prescribed for you. My question is do I have to give her that much information as this is only my 2nd day off? Not even required a sick note yet. And from speaking to other members of staff this has never been required of them.
Justice - 22-Aug-17 @ 10:36 AM
I've been signed off sick for past 2 weeks due to car crash and back problems. Been in regular contact with my place of work during this time. Advised I wanted a stage return for 2 weeks to get me back to work. However told as 2 weeks don't count as long term sick I can't do this. Therefore had no alternative but to be signed off for another 2 weeks as would struggle to do full time hours atm. However my Manager has now got occupational health involved and is coming round my house 2 weeks and 2 days after being off work. Confused if this is allowed as not long term sick. Please advise. Feel like I'm being put under unfair pressure.
Swifty - 21-Aug-17 @ 10:27 PM
Tom - Your Question:
Been of work for 6 weeks feeling a lot better how do I go about returning back to work ?

Our Response:
Get a fit note from your doctor and then contact your employer to let them know you're returning.
SafeWorkers - 9-Aug-17 @ 11:20 AM
Carol - Your Question:
I have been of work with back trouble I handed a sick line from my doctor but today I got 2 letters the same saying they are holding my sick pay can they do this

Our Response:
Your employer can choose whether/when to pay company sick pay. You should be entitled to Statutory Sick Pay if you're eligible
SafeWorkers - 8-Aug-17 @ 10:41 AM
Been of work for 6 weeks feeling a lot better how do I go about returning back to work ?
Tom - 7-Aug-17 @ 3:14 PM
Share Your Story, Join the Discussion or Seek Advice...
Title:
(never shown)
Firstname:
(never shown)
Surname:
(never shown)
Email:
(never shown)
Nickname:
(shown)
Comment:
Validate:
Enter word:
Latest Comments
  • SafeWorkers
    Re: Sexual Harassment at Work
    Grace - Your Question:I worked in private care as a care giver , working without a contract a it's private.The gentleman was touching…
    20 October 2017
  • SafeWorkers
    Re: Understanding Your Employment Contract
    Becky1809 - Your Question:I am contracted 16 hours a week and yet am never given the full 16. I get paid 16 hours per…
    20 October 2017
  • SafeWorkers
    Re: Employer Has Changed My Shifts: What Are My Rights?
    Ryankate - Your Question:My employer is forcing me to go to day shift and I don't want to take that…
    20 October 2017
  • Ven
    Re: Bullying at Work
    I remember a school bully from my school day's that enjoyed taunting me and since leaving school i hadn't seen him around for decades. After…
    20 October 2017
  • SafeWorkers
    Re: Being Pregnant at Work
    Josh - Your Question:Hi, My pregnant wife of 27 weeks is working ridiculous hours, she goes out the house at 7am and finished work at 6pm.…
    20 October 2017
  • Wendy
    Re: Employer's Duty of Care
    Hello I have a work colleague some times turn up work after he taken drugs this putting a strain rest the staff I do not want him lose…
    20 October 2017
  • SafeWorkers
    Re: Going On Strike
    Ricky - Your Question:Hi me & colleagues would like to strike over pay but striking on certain duties we carry out in security. Would we be able to…
    20 October 2017
  • David
    Re: When Your Employer Changes Your Working Hours
    I am working at a restaurant as a waiter on a full-time basis with a contract. I work one weekend and the…
    19 October 2017
  • County Ranger
    Re: Understanding Your Employment Contract
    Can I be forced to work on alternate Saturdays without pay? I am on a salaried contract. My contract states 8 till 5,…
    19 October 2017
  • Shell
    Re: When Your Employer Changes Your Working Hours
    Hi my husband has been working nights with the same company come 15 years, he has heard that they might be…
    19 October 2017
Further Reading...
Our Most Popular...
Add to my Yahoo!
Add to Google
Stumble this
Add to Twitter
Add To Facebook
RSS feed
You should seek independent professional advice before acting upon any information on the SafeWorkers website. Please read our Disclaimer.