3. Eligibility

To qualify for Statutory Sick Pay (SSP) you must:

  • be classed as an employee and have done some work for your employer
  • have been ill for at least 4 days in a row (including non-working days)
  • earn at least £111 (before tax) per week
  • tell your employer you’re sick before their deadline - or within 7 days if they don’t have one

Agency workers are entitled to Statutory Sick Pay.


You won’t qualify if you:

  • have received the maximum amount of SSP (28 weeks)
  • have taken 3 years or more ‘linked periods’ of sickness - where 4 or more days of sickness happen within 8 weeks of each other
  • are getting Statutory Maternity Pay

You can still qualify if you started your job recently and you haven’t received 8 weeks’ pay yet. Ask your employer to find out more.

Fit notes (or sick notes)

You only have to give your employer a doctor’s fit note if you miss more than 7 days of work.

If you’re not eligible

If you don’t qualify for SSP, your employer must give you form SSP1 within 7 days of your illness.

You can use this to apply for Employment and Support Allowance (ESA) instead.

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