This guide is also available in Welsh (Cymraeg).
You can offer more if you have a company sick pay scheme (you cannot offer less). Company schemes are also called ‘contractual’ or ‘occupational’ sick pay and must be included in an employment contract.
There’s a separate guide to Statutory Sick Pay if you’re an employee.
If your employee is off work because of coronavirus (COVID-19)
You must pay an employee SSP if they’re self-isolating and off work for at least 4 days and any of the following apply:
- they or someone they live with has coronavirus symptoms or has tested positive for coronavirus
- they’ve been notified by the NHS or public health authorities that they’ve been in contact with someone with coronavirus
- someone in their ‘support bubble’ (or ‘extended household’ if they live in Scotland or Wales) has symptoms or has tested positive for coronavirus
- they’ve been advised by a doctor or healthcare professional to self-isolate before going into hospital for surgery
You must also pay them SSP if they have a letter advising them to take extra precautions because they’re at very high risk of severe illness from coronavirus (known as ‘shielding’). In most cases, the letter will be from their doctor or a health authority (for example, the Department of Health and Social Care). The letter will say how long the employee should be off work.
You must pay your employee from the first ‘qualifying day’ they’re off work. The date will depend on why they’re off work.
You must pay them on or after one of the following dates:
- 13 March 2020 - if they or someone they live with has symptoms or has tested positive for coronavirus
- 16 April 2020 - if your employee is shielding
- 28 May 2020 - if your employee has been notified by the NHS or public health authorities that they’ve come into contact with someone with coronavirus
- 6 July 2020 - if someone in their support bubble (or extended household in Scotland or Wales) has symptoms or has tested positive for coronavirus
- 26 August 2020 - if your employee has been advised by a doctor or healthcare professional to self-isolate before going into hospital for surgery
A ‘qualifying day’ is a day an employee usually works on.
You can reclaim up to 2 weeks’ SSP if all of the following apply:
- your employee was off work because they had coronavirus, were self-isolating or shielding
- your PAYE payroll scheme started on or before 28 February 2020
- you had fewer than 250 employees on 28 February 2020
You can reclaim up to £95.85 a week for each employee.
You cannot reclaim SSP if your employee is off sick for any other reason.
Holiday (or ‘annual leave’)
Statutory annual leave is accrued while the employee is off work sick (no matter how long they’re off) and can be taken during sick leave.