Sick Pay in the UK: A Comprehensive Guide by Wurkplace
Guide to sick Pay

Sick Pay in the UK: A Comprehensive Guide by Wurkplace

At Wurkplace, we understand the importance of sick pay for both employers and employees in the UK.

To help you navigate the complexities of sick pay entitlements, we have created this comprehensive guide. From eligibility criteria to calculation methods, we’ll cover everything you need to know about sick pay in the UK. Let’s dive in and explore the world of sick pay together!


Statutory Sick Pay (SSP):


  1. Eligibility: To qualify for SSP, employees must meet specific criteria, including earning at least the Lower Earnings Limit and providing the necessary evidence, such as a fit note from a doctor.
  2. Calculation: SSP is currently set at £109.40 per week (2023-2024). It is paid for up to 28 weeks and is usually paid by the employer in the same way as regular wages. Check out to see if your pay is correct.


Waiting Days and Qualifying Days:


  1. Waiting Days: The first three days of sickness are considered waiting days, during which SSP is not payable. However, at Wurkplace, we recommend considering a company sick pay scheme that covers these waiting days, providing additional support to your employees.
  2. Qualifying Days: Employees are entitled to SSP for each day they would normally work, known as qualifying days. These are usually based on the employee’s work pattern. Also, see the Government website HERE 


Company Sick Pay Scheme:


At Wurkplace, we encourage employers to offer additional sick pay benefits through a company sick pay scheme. These schemes are not required by law but are a discretionary benefit provided by the employer. The terms of the company sick pay scheme should be clearly communicated to employees.


Long-Term Sick Leave:


If an employee is unable to work for an extended period due to illness or injury, they may be entitled to Employment and Support Allowance (ESA) after the SSP period ends. Employees should contact the Department for Work and Pensions (DWP) for more information.


Reporting and Evidence:


  1. At Wurkplace, we advise employers to establish clear procedures for reporting sickness absence. Employees must inform their employer as soon as possible, following the company’s guidelines.
  2. Employers may require employees to provide evidence of their illness or injury in the form of a fit note from a doctor after seven consecutive days of absence.


Employer Responsibilities:


  1. Employers have a legal obligation to comply with the requirements for paying SSP and ensure accurate records are maintained.
  2. At Wurkplace, we recommend that employers have policies in place to support employees during their sickness absence, including return-to-work plans and reasonable adjustments where necessary.


Common FAQs:


Can an employer ask for evidence of illness during SSP?

Yes, employers have the right to request evidence in the form of a fit note.

What if an employee falls sick while on annual leave?

Employees can request to convert their annual leave into sick leave and claim SSP instead.

Can an employer dismiss an employee on long-term sick leave?

Employers must follow a fair and transparent process and consider making reasonable adjustments before considering dismissal.



At Wurkplace, we believe that understanding sick pay entitlements is crucial for employers and employees in the UK. By familiarizing yourself with the regulations, eligibility criteria, and employer responsibilities, you can effectively manage sick pay. Remember, this guide provides general information, and seeking professional advice is recommended to ensure compliance with specific situations. At Wurkplace, we are here to support you in creating a positive and caring work environment that prioritizes the well-being of your employees.


How Wurkplace can help 


Here at Wurkplace, we have experienced and skilled consultants who can provide specific advice.

Legal changes and upcoming changes along with an array of template documents, so half the work is done for you!

If you need support or guidance, talk to one of our experts today.

You can use our easy online contact form, or call us at 0330 400 5490.


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