The weekly limit for Statutory Sick Pay (SSP) increases to £86.70 a week in April 2013 but the rules for paying the benefit remain complex and time-consuming for employers.
Here are some key points about SSP you need to know:
- All employees who earn more than £109 per week are entitled to receive SSP, including casual, part-time, agency and temporary employees, for a maximum of 28 weeks.
- Employees must notify the employer of their absence and provide evidence of their sickness. Employees can self-certify the first 7 days of their absence usually by completing a self-certification form.
- SSP is only payable for periods of incapacity which last more than four consecutive days. The four days do not need to be days the employee normally works for you.
- Any subsequent sickness, lasting for at least four days, can be counted as part of the original sickness, and so waiving the need for three ‘waiting' days, provided it falls within eight weeks of the original sickness.
- SSP is not payable for the first three days of sickness and those three ‘waiting' days must fall on the employee's usual working days. For example, if an employee whose normal work days are Monday, Tuesday and Wednesday is sick Monday to Friday they will not qualify for SSP as their fourth day of sickness falls on a day they do not normally work. If the employee remains off sick until Monday they become eligible.
- Some employers can reclaim SSP. It can also be offset against any contractual company sick pay paid to employee.
Pam Loch, Managing Partner of niche employment law practice, Loch Associates Employment Lawyers and Managing Director of HR Advise Me Limited.
For more information on Loch Associates Employment Lawyers please go to www.lochassociates.co.uk and for HR Advise Me go to www.hradvise.me