To qualify for Statutory Sick Pay (SSP) you must:
- be classed as an employee and have done some work for your employer
- earn an average of at least £120 per week
- have been ill or self-isolating for at least 4 days in a row (including non-working days)
How many days you can get SSP for depends on why you’re off work.
Agency workers are entitled to Statutory Sick Pay.
Telling your employer
You must usually tell your employer you’re unable to work before the deadline they set (or within 7 days if they have not set one).
You could lose some of your SSP if you do not tell your employer in time.
You will not qualify if you:
- have received the maximum amount of SSP (28 weeks)
- are getting Statutory Maternity Pay
- are self-isolating after entering or returning to the UK and do not need to self-isolate for any other reason
You can still qualify if you started your job recently and you have not received 8 weeks’ pay yet. Ask your employer to find out more.
You can still qualify if you’re on furlough.
Linked periods of sickness
If you have regular periods of sickness, they may count as ‘linked’. To be linked, the periods must:
- last 4 or more days each
- be 8 weeks or less apart
You’re no longer eligible for SSP if you have a continuous series of linked periods that lasts more than 3 years.
Fit notes and asking for proof
You only have to give your employer a fit note (sometimes called a sick note) if you’re off sick for more than 7 days in a row (including non-working days).
You can get a fit note from your doctor or hospital doctor. If your employer agrees, a similar document can be provided by a physiotherapist, podiatrist or occupational therapist instead. This is called an Allied Health Professional (AHP) Health and Work Report.
Proof if you’re self-isolating because of coronavirus (COVID-19)
If you’re self-isolating and cannot work because of COVID-19, you can get an ‘isolation note’ online from NHS 111 if you’re off work for 7 or more days. You do not have to go to your doctor or a hospital.
If you’ve been notified by the NHS or public health authorities that you’ve come into contact with someone with COVID-19, your notification is proof.
If you’ve been advised by your doctor or healthcare professional to self-isolate before going into hospital for surgery, your letter confirming the date of your procedure is proof.
You cannot get SSP if you’re self-isolating after entering or returning to the UK and do not need to self-isolate for any other reason.
Proof if you were ‘shielding’ because of COVID-19
Shielding has stopped in the UK.
You can no longer apply for a new shielding note or a replacement shielding note.
If you’re not eligible or your SSP ends
If your SSP is ending your employer must send you form SSP1 either:
- within 7 days of your SSP ending, if it ends unexpectedly while you’re still sick
- on or before the beginning of the 23rd week, if your SSP is expected to end before your sickness does
If you do not qualify for SSP your employer must send you form SSP1 within 7 days of you going off sick.