Statutory Sick Pay Guide for Employers

An introduction to this SSP Guide for small businesses, covering the period 6th April 2012 to 5th April 2013

Statutory Sick Pay Guide for Employers

This is a high level overview of the SSP process. A list of Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ’s) is provided.

SSP is paid to employees who are unable to work because of illness. SSP is paid at the same time and in the same way as you would pay wages for the same period.

As an employer you’re responsible for paying SSP to employees who meet certain qualifying conditions. You also need to record any SSP you pay on the employee’s form P11 Deductions Working Sheet (55k PDF) – or equivalent record.

New SSP rate

The weekly rate of SSP for days of sickness from 6 April 2012 is £85.85

SSP calculator

There is an easy and quick way to calculate SSP

  • The HMRC SSP calculator will help you work out if your employee is entitled to SSP and if so, provide a schedule of the payments that you should make. It will also help you work out if you are entitled to recover any of the SSP you have paid to all your employees in each tax month.
  • Your Employer Basic PAYE Tools also includes a calculator. Go to ‘calculator’ in the main menu.
  • There is also a learning zone in your Basic PAYE Tools which will take you step by step through the process of paying and recovering SSP.

Qualifying conditions

An employee must meet all the following conditions to get SSP

  • They must be your employee – and they will need to have done some work under their employment contract before going off sick
  • They must be incapable for work for at least four days or more in a row. This is called a ‘period of incapacity for work’ (PIW). See terms used in this guide for an explanation of PIW
  • They must have at least one Qualifying Day (QD) in each week – these are days they normally work.
  • Their earnings must be at least as much as the lower earnings limit (LEL) for National Insurance contributions (NICs). This is £107.00 a week for 2012–2013.
  • They must have notified you about their sickness – either within your own time limit or within seven days of the first day of sickness.
  • They must provide you with medical evidence of their sickness if you require it.

Time limits for notification

An employee telling you they are sick is the starting point for SSP. It is not evidence of incapacity, it is simply your employee letting you know why they are off work.You can make your own rules about when and how your employee should notify sickness for your own purposes,subject to certain conditions, but you must tell your employees your rules for notification in advance.

For further information see Time limits for notification of SSP.

Medical evidence

You must tell your employees what you expect them to give you as evidence. This is not the same as notifying you that they are sick

Your employees can self-certify sickness periods of up to seven days. They can do this using form SC2 Employees statement of sickness or your own equivalent form.

If the sick absence lasts more than seven days your employee must provide you with sufficient evidence of incapacity for work, if you require it. The medical certificate from a doctor is usually strong evidence of incapacity.

Read more about the types of medical evidence you can ask your employees for.

When to start paying SSP

SSP isn’t payable straight away. The first three Qualifying Days of a PIW are called ‘Waiting Days’ (WD’s) when SSP isn’t payable: SSP is payable from the first qualifying day after the three WDs.

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