Two million workers could soon become eligible for Statutory Sick Pay

Under the current rules, a worker must earn at least the equivalent of 14 hours a week on the minimum wage in order to qualify for Statutory Sick Pay or “SSP”.

Under new government proposals, an estimated two million low-paid workers could become eligible to receive SSP.

The proposals could also benefit approximately 1.1 million “gig economy” workers who currently receive little or no sick pay at all.

The government has only launched a consultation on proposed changes to SSP; therefore, there is no guidance on whether the threshold will be lowered, and if it is, by how much.

It’s crucial for an employer to know its obligations in relation to paying SSP. Here are some basic guidelines on SSP rights and entitlements:

  • A member of staff must be classed as an employee in order to qualify for SSP. This is a wide category, and may in some cases apply to workers and agency staff.

  • An employee must earn at least £118 per week to be eligible for SSP. The threshold figure is reviewed every tax year.

  • If an employee has been ill for at least four days in a row, including non-working days, then they will be able to claim SSP as long as they meet the earnings threshold.

  • SSP is currently £94.95 per week, but many employers have a more generous company sick pay scheme in place.

  • An employee can claim SSP for up to 28 weeks; after this their SSP entitlement will come to an end.