Legal Resources

explaining sick pay
December 2015


Sick Pay

Sick pay in the work place is pay that is given to an employee who is unwell and subsequently unable to work. It is applicable in England, Wales, Scotland and Northern Ireland. Every employer will have a different policy but there are a few basics that are covered by law.

Sickness is something everyone has to deal with at some point so it is important to know exactly what is required from you as an employer, such as what you are required to record, when to stop paying and the legality of dismissing an employee for illness.

There are two types of sick pay: Company Sick Pay (CSP) and St atutory Sick Pay (SSP).

Company Sick Pay is only applicable after a certain period of employment, regardless of whether an employee works full time or part time . However, companies are in no way obligated to provide Company Sick Pay unless it is explicitly outlined in the employee's contract.

Statutory Sick Pay is different in the sense that all employees are entitled to SSP, which is determined by the government. This sick pay is applicable after 4 consecutive days of illness, including weekends and bank holidays. The weekly Statutory Sick Pay in 2016 is £ 88.45 for up-to 28 weeks.

There are a number of things you can do to keep track of employee's sick days. This includes the employee fills out a self-certificate explaining their illness – this is necessary for shorter periods of absence. If the employee is absent for more than 7 days, proof from a medical professional, such as a doctors note, should be provided.

You should keep records of all employee absences due to ill ness in the form of the SSP2, SSP1 and SC2 documents.

If an employee's long-term sickness prevents them from doing their job, this can be a fair reason for dismissal. However, as an employer you must prove you acted fairly by considering other alternatives to dismissal.

To help ensure you are fully and correctly informed, this infographic explains exactly how sick pay works and what you as an employer are expected to do.

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