Statutory Sick Pay (SSP)


Statutory Sick Pay (SSP) is a payment given by employers to employees who are off sick from work. 

By law, employers must pay Statutory Sick Pay (SSP) to employees and workers when they meet eligibility conditions.

It is paid:

  • for the days an employee normally works - called ‘qualifying days’.
  • in the same way as wages, for example on the normal payday, deducting tax and National insurance.


How much Statutory Sick Pay is?

SSP is £96.35 a week and can be paid for up to 28 weeks.


When does SSP become payable?

SSP only becomes payable when the employee is sick for at least 4 days in a row (including non-working days).

You cannot count a day as a sick day if an employee has worked for a minute or more before they go home sick.

Waiting Days

  • SSP is not due for the first 3 days of sickness absence, except when it's for self-isolation for COVID-19
  • SSP must be paid from the 4th day of sickness absence



To qualify for Statutory Sick Pay (SSP) employees must:

  • have an employment contract
  • have done some work under their contract
  • have been sick for 4 or more days in a row (including non-working days) - known as a ‘period of incapacity for work’
  • earn an average of at least £120 per week
  • give you notice and proof of illness when needed.



Employees do not qualify for SSP if they:

  • have received the maximum amount of SSP (28 weeks)
  • are getting Statutory Maternity Pay or Maternity Allowance
  • are off work for a pregnancy-related illness in the 4 weeks before the week (Sunday to Saturday) that their baby is due


Linked periods of sickness

If your employee has 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

Your employee is no longer eligible for SSP if they have a continuous series of linked periods that lasts more than 3 years.


When to stop paying SSP

SSP stops when the employee comes back to work or no longer qualifies for it.


If an employee is not eligible or their SSP ends

If your employee does not qualify for SSP you must send them form SSP1 within 7 days of them going off sick.

If your employee’s SSP is ending you must send them form SSP1 either:

  • within 7 days of their SSP ending, if it ends unexpectedly while they’re still sick
  • on or before the beginning of the 23rd week, if their SSP is expected to end before their sickness does.


Can I (employer) claim back any SSP?

Not any more… If you were a ‘small’ employer, you used to be able to recover some of the SSP you paid to your employees, however that stopped from 2014/15 tax year onwards.


Need to find out more info?

COVID-19 and Statutory Sick Pay: Click here