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Sickness & Sick Pay: Employment

Sickness & Sick Pay

As an employer, you have a legal obligation to pay your employees when they are unable to work through illness. You must pay statutory sick pay (SSP) for the first 28 weeks of absence in a 3-year period. An employee normally qualifies for SSP if they are incapacitated for four or more consecutive working days (‘qualifying days’).

Employees may self-certify their illness but, if their absence exceeds 7 days, their employers will be entitled to ask them to obtain a Statement of Fitness for Work (Fit Note) from their GP or other authorised healthcare professional.

For effective management of these systems you should introduce and maintain good procedures for certification / notification by the employee. You should also be prepared to carry out an investigation if certain employees appear to have ongoing or repetitive sickness problems.

Details of your sick pay scheme must form part of the Terms and Conditions of Employment. Employers can offer their own company/occupational sick pay scheme but cannot offer less than SSP.

The latest rates of SSP can be found on the government website: https://www.gov.uk/statutory-sick-pay/overview

Even if sick pay runs out, there is still an employment contract between the employer and the employee and the employee should continue reporting their sickness to the employer and following the employer’s sickness absence rules.

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