Statutory Sick Pay Guide for Employers (2011-2012)

Example - Weekly paid employee

This Sick Pay Guide is reference only. For the most up-to-date advice see the Statutory Sick Pay Guide for Employers (2012-2013)

Operating the SSP Scheme

Time limits for notification of SSP

How your employee must tell you

For SSP purposes, you cannot insist that your employee notifies you:

  • in person
  • earlier than the first Qualifying Day (QD) in a spell of sickness
  • by a fixed time on the first QD
  • more often than once a week during the sickness
  • on a special form
  • on a medical certificate or fit note.

If you wish, you can make one set of rules for the first notification in a spell of sickness and another set of rules for the second and following notifications in the same spell of sickness.

If you don’t make your own rules, your employee must notify you of their incapacity within seven days of their first day of absence.

Employee doesn’t tell you

If your employee doesn’t notify you of sickness absence within:

  • the time you fixed, or
  • seven days of the first day of incapacity, and
  • if you consider that there was good cause for delay, you must accept that the notification was given correctly if it is given
    • – within one month of the time you specify, or in the seven day period after the relevant day(s) of incapacity, or
    • – up to 91 days after the relevant day(s) of incapacity, if you are satisfied that it was not reasonably practicable for the employee to notify you within the month.

If you have accepted that the notification was given correctly, your employee will be entitled to SSP from the beginning of their absence as if they had notified you on time. However, if you do not accept that notification was given correctly, there is an example of a letter you may wish to use to advise your employee that you consider they are not entitled to SSP for this reason, on page 22.

Withholding payment for late notification

You can withhold payment of SSP for the period of the delay if the notification is given outside these time limits and you do not accept there was good cause for delay. If you decide to withhold payment you should treat the date of the late notification as the first Qualifying Day for SSP.

For example, your employee is sick from Sunday to Saturday and their agreed QDs are Monday to Friday.

Your rules are that employees must notify you of sickness on the first QD of sick absence, in this case Monday.

If they delay notification without good cause until Wednesday, you could withhold payment of SSP for Monday and Tuesday. There is an example of a letter you may wish to use to advise your employee that you consider they are not entitled to SSP for this reason, on page 22.

Statutory Sick Pay Guide © Crown Copyright 2011

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