Statutory Sick Pay (SSP)

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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 £123 per week
  • have been ill 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

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.

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 must give your employer a fit note if you’re off work for more than 7 days in a row (including non-working days).

You can get a fit note (sometimes called a sick note) from the following healthcare professionals:

  • GP or hospital doctor

  • registered nurse

  • occupational therapist

  • pharmacist

  • physiotherapist

The note can be printed or digital.

Other proof of sickness

If your employer agrees, you can get a similar document from a physiotherapist, podiatrist or occupational therapist instead of a fit note. This is called an Allied Health Professional (AHP) Health and Work Report.

A physiotherapist or occupational therapist will give you either a fit note or an AHP Health and Work Report depending on your needs.

If you’re not eligible or your SSP ends

You may be able to apply for Universal Credit or Employment and Support Allowance (ESA). You can use form SSP1 to support your application.

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.