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Check if you're entitled to sick pay

Check if you're entitled to sick pay

Citizens Advice
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This advice applies to England

You might be able to get Statutory Sick Pay (SSP) when you're off work sick. It depends on your earnings and your situation.

You can't get SSP for the first 3 days you're off sick but after that you can get £99.35 a week for up to 28 weeks.

Your employer might also pay you their own sick pay - usually called ‘contractual sick pay’ (CSP). You get CSP and SSP at the same time.

Check the main eligibility rules

If you work for an employer, you can usually get SSP if you:

  • have started work with your employer
  • are sick for 4 full days or more in a row, including your non-working days
  • earn at least £123 a week on average, before tax

You’ll also need to follow your employer’s rules for getting SSP - check your contract or staff handbook.

You can’t get SSP if you:

  • are self-employed
  • had SSP for 28 weeks and the 28 weeks ended within the last 8 weeks
  • were paid Employment and Support Allowance (ESA) in the last 12 weeks
  • are in the armed forces
  • are in legal custody, detained either by the police or in prison
  • have an agricultural workers contract from before 1 October 2013

You can read about agricultural sick pay on GOV.UK.

If you’re on maternity leave

You can’t get paid SSP if you’re getting Statutory Maternity Pay (SMP) or Maternity Allowance (MA).

Even if you’re not getting SMP and MA you can’t get SSP for the first 18 weeks of your maternity leave.
Your first 18 weeks starts when, either:

  • you give birth
  • you’re off sick for a pregnancy-related reason in the 4 weeks before your due date

If you’re part-time or an agency worker

If your employer takes off tax and National Insurance from your pay or you earn at least £123 a week on average, you can get SSP. This includes if you:

  • work part-time
  • are on a zero-hours contract
  • are on a fixed-term contract

If you get sick when you’re temping and can’t go to work, you might be able to get SSP until your job ends.

If you agreed to do another job, you might get SSP until the end of that job as well.

If you don’t have a job when you get sick, you can’t get SSP.

You’re on a zero-hours contract

You can still get SSP - you should ask your employer for it. If they say no, ask them to explain why. They might say you don’t have any ‘qualifying days’ - these are your shifts that are on the same day from week to week.

Check how to work out your qualifying days to get SSP

You should make a list of when you have recently worked. Write down any days in your weekly shifts that have been the same from week to week - your qualifying days.

For example, you might have worked on Tuesday and Thursday every week for the past 8 weeks - so Tuesday and Thursday will be your qualifying days. You can look back more than 8 weeks if you think it will help your case - there are no rules on how far back you can look.

If you and your employer can't agree on your qualifying days, you can check what to do if your employer refuses to pay you sick pay.

Check if you can get contractual sick pay CSP

Your contract might say you can get (CSP) - this is sick pay your employer might pay as well as SSP.

How much CSP you get and how long you get it for will depend on what your contract says. You might get CSP from your first day off sick. CSP can’t be less than £99.35 per week.

If your contract doesn't mention sick pay or you don't have a contract, you should ask your employer. You might also find details about CSP in your staff handbook or intranet.

If your employer doesn’t pay CSP then you should get SSP from day 4 of being off sick.