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HMRC internal manual

Statutory Payments Manual

Average Weekly Earnings (AWE) - SSP: definition of the relevant period

Regulation 19(3) of the Statutory Sick Pay (General) Regulations 1982 defines the relevant period as the period between:

the last normal pay day before the start of the PIW. This pay day will be the end of the relevant period, and

the day following the last normal pay day falling not less than eight weeks before the pay day above.

Regulations define a “normal pay day” as either the pay day specified in the contract, or the day on which they are usually paid if:

  • they have no contract, or
  • their contract does not specify a pay day.

An employment contract can be partly written or partly oral and can consist of both express and implied terms. As such, it can be amended over time. The contract may specify a particular day of each month as the pay day, but this may be amended by way of custom and practice.

To calculate the AWE, all gross earnings paid in the relevant period are divided by the number of days, weeks or months, depending on the pay practice, in that relevant period.