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HMRC internal manual

Statutory Payments Manual

Statutory Sick Pay (SSP): general information - qualifying days (QDs)

QDs are the only days for which SSP can be paid. They must be agreed by both the employee and employer.

They are usually the days of the week on which an employee is required to work, be available for work or normally work by their contract. Bank holidays do not interrupt the normal pattern of QDs.

If an employee works a rota system covering several weeks the QDs in each week of the rota may be different. However, the employee and employer may agree that the same days in every week are QDs.

There must be at least one QD each week.

If the employer and employee cannot agree the QDs, regulations provide for the QDs to be

  • the days on which the employer and employee agree that the employee is/was required to work under the contract, or
  • a Wednesday if there is/was no specified day of work, or
  • every day of the week except those on which they agree that none of the workforce were required to work

Section 154 of the SSCBA 1992 or 150 of the SSCB(NI)A 1992


An employee works Monday to Friday and is unfit for work from Saturday to Thursday:

The QDs would normally be Monday, Tuesday, Wednesday, Thursday and Friday

The PIW would be the six days Saturday to Thursday but the WDs would be Monday, Tuesday and Wednesday.

SSP would be payable for one day, the Thursday.

A PIW can include non-working days, such as weekends but WDs must be QDs.