You might think it’s easy to tell if you are entitled to statutory sick pay, but there are some important things to consider. For example, do you work full-time hours every week? Do you earn enough money to cover your rent? Are you paid weekly or monthly? If you answered yes to all three questions, you could be eligible for statutory sick pay.
There are some exceptions though, like if you’ve been dismissed because of misconduct or negligence. In those cases, you won’t be able to claim sick pay. However, if you’ve got a good reason for being off sick – such as having flu – then you’ll still be able to apply.
If you want to know what your entitlements are, speak to your boss and ask for any relevant paperwork. This includes letters confirming your employment status, wage slips, and anything else that proves you’re earning above the threshold amount.
If you’re self-isolating because of coronavirus
Self-Isolation does not equal quarantine. While it’s true that most people are staying home out of concern for themselves and others, some people are still working. If you’re one of those people, here’s what you need to know about taking paid sick leave during this pandemic.
The government recommends people who test positive COVID-19 should self-isolate. But there’s no law requiring employers to provide paid sick leave. And even though many states have passed laws guaranteeing workers the ability to use paid sick days, federal law still requires employers to give employees unpaid sick leave.
You can ask your employer to let you take paid sick leave. Some companies offer paid sick days to their full-time employees. Others don’t require paid sick leave, but do allow you to take it. Check with your human resources department to see whether your company offers paid sick leave.
To find out how much paid sick leave you qualify for under state law, check out Paid Sick Days Finder.
Check your contract
Statutory sick pay is paid out by law, while contractual sickness pay is negotiated between employers and employees. There are two main types of sick pay – statutory sick pay and contractual sickness pay.
Ask your boss if you’ve been offered sick pay and ask what it covers. If you don’t have a contract, check your employer’s policy document.
Who does not qualify for Statutory Sick Pay?
If you are self-employed, do you qualify for Statutory Sick Pay (SSP)? Do you have to be working full-time hours to receive it? Are there any exceptions? These questions and more are answered in our guide.
You are returning to work after receiving maternity leave pay.
If you are taking maternity leave, you might think that you are entitled to some sort of compensation once you return to work. But it turns out that most people aren’t actually eligible for statutory sick pay. And even if you do qualify, there are certain things you must do to claim it. Here’s what you need to know about statutory sick pay.
You’re in hospital
A note from your doctor is officially called a medical certificate. It’s used to say that you cannot perform certain tasks because of illness or injury. But it does not mean that you are sick or injured. In fact, it might even be quite the opposite.
Your doctor gives you a medical certificate to prove that you are ill. You don’t want to lose your job, do you? So you take the certificate to your boss and tell him that you’re too ill to work. He agrees and tells you to go home.
But there’s one problem. Your employer doesn’t believe that you’re really sick. They think that you just want to avoid working. And since you haven’t been off sick for long, they won’t let you go. Instead, they send you to see a specialist.
The specialist looks at your notes and decides whether you can return to work. Then he writes a report about his findings. This is known as a diagnosis. It’s written in plain language and explains how you got sick. Your doctor signs it.
This is where things start to get complicated. There are different types of certificates. Some are signed by your GP; others by specialists like physiotherapists. And some are signed by both.
If you’ve had surgery, you probably have a surgical certificate. It’ll explain exactly what happened during the operation. And it usually includes a prognosis – a prediction of how well you’ll recover.
In most cases, doctors write up their reports within 24 hours of seeing patients. Sometimes they wait longer.
You have multiple employers.
If you have more than one job, it could be worth claiming sick pay from each of them. You might be entitled to more cash if you do this. But there are some conditions attached.
Your employer must allow you to take time off work without being penalised. They must also give you enough notice about your absence.
They must also provide you with reasonable accommodation if you request it. This includes things like flexible working hours or changing your shift pattern.
If you are self-employed, you can claim sick pay from yourself too. However, you cannot claim sick pay from someone else unless they are your employee.
You’re getting your pension
The government has announced it will stop paying out state pensions to people born before 1950, starting next month. From April 2020, anyone born before 1950 won’t receive a full state pension unless they are earning over £16,500 per annum. There will still be some benefits for those born before 1950, including free bus travel and free prescriptions. But they won’t be receiving the full amount of money they were expecting.
A spokesperson for the Department for Work and Pensions told MoneySavingExpert: “We want everyone to be able to enjoy life without worrying about how they’ll pay for things like food, heating and bills.”
If you’re worried about what this change will mean for you, there are ways to make sure you don’t lose out financially. Here are five tips…
1. Make sure you know how much you’re entitled to
Before you start planning your finances, check exactly how much you’ll be receiving each week. You can do this online by logging into MyGov.gov.uk/pension. Once logged in, select your date of birth and enter your National Insurance number. Then choose ‘My Benefits’ and scroll down to ‘State Pension’. Clicking on the link will take you to a screen showing your expected weekly payments.
2. Consider how long you plan to live
If you’re younger than 55, you’ll be able to continue claiming a full state pension until you reach State Pension Age. However, if you’re older than 65, you won’t be able to claim a full pension until you turn 66.
You are engaged in a commercial dispute.
Statutory sick pay is paid to workers who are ill or injured during working hours. However, it is usually only paid to those who work in certain industries, such as construction, manufacturing and retailing. This is because the law requires employers to provide sick pay to employees who are engaged in a particular industry.
Trade disputes affect employees who are directly involved in them. These include union members, shop stewards and representatives, and anyone else whose job involves negotiating contracts. They are entitled to statutory sick benefit payments if they become ill or injured during the course of their duties.
If your employer refuses to pay your sick pay, you are not entitled to it.
Contact HM Revenue & Customs if your employer won’t give you sick pay. If your employer isn’t giving you paid sick days, it could mean you are being underpaid.
You can ask HM Revenue & Customs to investigate whether your employer pays you correctly. This is called a “pay review”.
Contact Citizens’ Advice if you want advice about claiming back what you’re owed. They can help you decide whether you should take legal action against your employer.
If you do not qualify for sick pay
The government says people are entitled to sick pay if they work full-time hours and earn less than £118 per week. But there are some exceptions. Here’s what you need to know about whether you qualify…
What does “full-time working” mean?
You must normally work either 35 hours or 40 hours a week. If you do overtime, you don’t count those extra hours towards the total number of hours worked. You’ll usually find this information in your contract of employment.
Does my job count as “work”?
No. Your job doesn’t count as work unless you’re paid for it. So if you’re self-employed or running your own small business, you won’t receive any benefits.
How much money am I eligible for?
There are three main types of benefit: statutory sick pay; enhanced statutory sick pay; and carer’s allowance. Statutory sick pay (SSC) is payable if you’ve been off work because of illness for four weeks or longer. Enhanced SSC is payable if you’ve had long term illness or disability for six months or more. Carer’s Allowance is payable if you’re caring for someone who is ill or disabled.
Step 1: request a statement in writing
The government says it won’t force employers to give employees paid sick days. But there are ways around that. If you work full time, ask your employer for a written explanation of why you haven’t been given paid sick days. You don’t even have to use those exact words – just make sure you include something like “I believe my employer does not provide paid sick days because…”
If you do receive such a response, take a screenshot of the email and send it to yourself via email. Then save the screenshot somewhere safe. This way, if things go wrong, you can show your employer exactly what they wrote.
You might think you’re being unreasonable, but it’s important to remember that you’re asking for unpaid leave. And you shouldn’t have to wait until you’ve actually got ill to start claiming it.
Step 2: contact HMRC
Contact HMRC if you haven’t received an SSP1 Form or a written statement from your employer.
If you don’t receive any information about your entitlements to Statutory Sick Pay (SSP), contact HMRC’s employee’s enquiry line.
Prepare all the necessary documents before calling HMRC.
HMRC’s Employee Enquiries Line – 0800 917 1000
The number for employers – 0845 606 5000
Frequently Asked Questions
How sick leave affects your vacation entitlement
Typically, a person on sick leave can accrue four weeks of statutory paid leave. However, there are a few outliers. Here’s what you need to know about vacation and sick leave.
Statutory holiday entitlement is built-up (accrued) while employees are off work sick (no matters how long they’re off work).
Any unused statutory holiday entitlement due to illness may be carried over to the next leave period.
An employee may request to use his or her paid vacation time for time missed due to illness. This could happen if they don’t qualify for sick pay, e.g. they haven’t been out of work for 3 months, or they’re on maternity leave.
They might do this, for instance, if they did not qualify for paid leave.
A worker who is absent from work due to illness may use their statutory holiday entitlement.
I work part-time. What is my entitlement?
The Fair Work Ombudsman says it is important that people understand how sick leave works in schools. To help explain what happens, we’ve put together some facts about sick leave entitlements, including why you might want to take sick leave, and what your rights are under the law.
If you’re a regular full-time teacher, you’ll usually be paid for every day you work – even if you don’t teach or do anything else. This is called “full-time”, because it covers everything you do during the week. If you work part-time, however, you won’t be paid for every day that you work. Instead, you’ll be paid for the number of hours you actually spend teaching each week. You can find out how many hours you spend teaching by looking at the information listed in your contract.
Most contracts say that you must give notice to go on holiday, unless you’ve agreed otherwise. Your employer needs to give you at least one month’s notice. They can’t just tell you to go without giving you any reason.
You can ask your employer for unpaid leave. Unpaid leave doesn’t mean you won’t get paid at all. In fact, you still get paid while you’re away. But you won’t get paid for the time you’re off work.
Your employer cannot force you to take unpaid leave. However, if you refuse to accept unpaid leave, your employer could dismiss you.
If you feel like you have been unfairly dismissed, you can make a complaint with the Fair Work Ombudsman.