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HMRC internal manual

Statutory Payments Manual

Statutory Sick Pay (SSP): general information - evidence of sickness

Under section 14 of the Social Security Administration Act 1992 employees who claim SSP must provide evidence of incapacity if required by their employer’s.

In accordance with regulation 2(1) of The Statutory Sick Pay (Medical Evidence) Regulations 1985, evidence shall be:

  • in the form of a statement given by a doctor, or
  • by such other means sufficient in the circumstances of a particular case

Other such means may include medical evidence from health practitioners such as:

  • osteopaths
  • chiropractors
  • physiotherapists
  • Christian Scientists
  • herbalists
  • acupuncturists

(This list is for guidance only and is neither prescriptive nor comprehensive. It is up to the employer to consider what evidence of incapacity is acceptable)

Regulation 2(2) of The Statutory Sick Pay (Medical Evidence) Regulations 1985 provides that an employee is not required to provide medical evidence in respect of the first seven days of a sick absence

If the employer is unsure whether or not their employee is unfit for work or whether the medical evidence/statement can be accepted, they can ask HMRC for advice. See SPM100500.

An employer cannot withhold payment of SSP for late receipt of medical evidence.

Contact with an infectious disease

An employee who is a carrier of, or has been in contact with an infectious or contagious disease, may have been issued with a statement from the appropriate medical officer advising them not to go to work. If they have been issued with such a statement, they are deemed to be incapable of work for SSP purposes.