Statutory Sick Pay

What is Statutory Sick Pay

The government has adopted this measure which is a substituted form of earnings for employees who are off sick from work and who meet the entitlement requirements.

Employer’s Duty

An employer has a legal duty to pay statutory sick pay to an employee who becomes ill and is absent from work as a result of that illness as stipulated by the Social Security Contribution and Benefits Act 1992. Prior to 1994 an employer was able to be reimbursed for most if not all of the money that was paid to an employee from National Insurance Contributions. However the Statutory Sick Pay Act 1994 has repealed employers’ right to recoup those losses and has made it their responsibility.

The Entitlement to Statutory Sick Pay

A person is entitled to statutory sick if the he or she meets the following requirements:

  •    An employee

  •    Illness for more than 3 days (inclusive of weekends and holidays)

  •    Wages that are equivalent to the Lower Earnings Limit (earnings required to qualify for certain state benefits) or more

The Employee

An employee includes the following:

  •    A person employed gainfully under a contract for service in Great Britain

  •    A person who pays Secondary Class 1 National Insurance Contributions

  •    An apprentice who is in employed earner’s employment

  •    An office holder (including elected office)

  •    An agency worker


Limitation on entitlement

  •    Statutory Sick Pay is limited to 28 weeks during the qualifying 3 year period in which a person is absent from work.

  •    An employee cannot aggregate the amount of statutory sick pay against one employer which exceeds the maximum 28 weeks.

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For more information on:

  • Protection of an Employee’s right to Statutory Sick Pay
  • Contracting out of an Employee’s Protection
  • The Rate