Notice and fit notes
The employee should tell you they’re sick within your own time limit (or 7 days if you do not have one). You cannot insist they tell you in person or on a special form.
You do not have to pay Statutory Sick Pay (SSP) for any days the employee was late in telling you (unless there’s a good reason for the delay).
An employee is sick from Monday 6 June. They usually work from Monday to Friday.
You’ve set your time limit at 5 days’ notice, but they only tell you they’re sick after 7 days (on Monday 13 June).
You do not have to pay them SSP for the 2 days they were late telling you.
You start paying SSP on Thursday 16 June - on the fourth ‘qualifying day’ (days an employee usually works on) after they told you they were sick.
Fit notes and asking for proof
After 7 days off sick you can ask the employee for a fit note from their doctor. This used to be called a sick note.
You cannot withhold SSP if the employee is late sending you a fit note.
If you get a ‘return to work plan’ for the employee through the Fit for Work scheme, you can accept this instead of a fit note.
If your employee is off sick frequently or for a long time, HMRC has information about getting medical advice.
Step 1 Decide what type of employee you need
and Check you can afford to take on employees
- Check how much the National Minimum Wage is
- Find out how much National Insurance you need to pay for your employees
- Check how much sick pay your employees are eligible for
- Check how much you need to pay towards your employee's pension
- Check how much Maternity Leave you need to pay your employees
- Check how much Paternity Leave you need to pay your employees
Step 2 Make your workplace safe and accessible for employees
- Prevent discrimination
- Make your workplace accessible for employees with disabilities or health conditions
- Keep employee information and data safe
- Fire safety
- Health and safety
You also need to make checks when you recruit and employ someone.
Step 3 Register as an employer and set up PAYE
You need to register with HMRC so you can pay tax and national insurance for your employees.
Step 4 Check your responsibilities around workplace pensions
Step 5 Get Employers' Liability insurance
Step 6 Recruit and employ staff