Knowledge Centre

Statutory Sick Leave and Pay (SSP)

Understanding Statutory Sick Leave and Pay

Statutory sick leave provides employees with the necessary time off when they are unable to work due to illness. The Statutory Sick Pay (SSP) is extended to employees for a maximum of 28 weeks.

SSP is paid in alignment with the employee’s regular pay schedule, whether that is weekly or monthly. Eligible individuals can receive £116.75 per week (based on 24/25 figures) as the statutory sick pay rate. To qualify, one must be classified as an employee, having worked for the employer, and earned an average of at least £123.00 per week (based on 24/25 figures). This average is calculated over the previous 8 weeks, if applicable.

Importantly, the duration of employment with the employer does not impact eligibility for statutory sick pay. However, it’s important to note that individuals on maternity leave, during their 39-week maternity pay period, are not eligible for statutory sick pay.

Statutory Sick Leave and Pay (SSP) (MFJ022)

Holiday (or ‘annual leave’)

Statutory annual leave is accrued while the employee is off work sick (no matter how long they’re off) and can be taken during sick leave.


The weekly rate for Statutory Sick Pay (SSP) is £116.75 (24/25 figures) for up to 28 weeks. It is paid:

  • for the days an employee normally works – called ‘qualifying days’
  • In the same way as wages, eg: on the normal payday, deducting tax and National insurance

When to start paying SSP

SSP is paid when the employee is sick for at least 4 days in a row (including non-working days). You start paying SSP from the fourth ‘qualifying day’ (day an employee is normally required to work). The first 3 qualifying days are called ‘waiting days’.

You can’t count a day as a sick day if an employee has worked for a minute or more before they go home sick.

If an employee works a shift that ends the day after it started and becomes sick during the shift or after it has finished, the second day will count as a sick day.


You don’t usually pay SSP for the first 3 qualifying days unless they’ve been off sick and getting SSP within the last 8 weeks.

When to stop paying SSP

Usually SSP stops when the employee comes back to work or no longer qualifies.

Eligibility and form SSP1

To qualify for Statutory Sick Pay (SSP) employees must:

  • have an employment contract
  • have done some work under their contract
  • have been sick for 4 or more days in a row (including non-working days) – known as a ‘period of incapacity for work’
  • earn at least £123 (24/25 figures) a week
  • give you the correct notice, give you proof of their illness, only after 7 days off

Employees who have been paid less than 8 weeks of earnings still qualify for SSP. Use the sick pay calculator to work out how much to pay them.

Employees can qualify for sick pay from more than one job.

They could also qualify in one job but be fit for work in another, eg if one job is physical work that they can’t do while ill but the other is office-based.


Employees don’t qualify for SSP if they:

  • have received the maximum amount of SSP (28 weeks)
  • are getting Statutory Maternity Pay or Maternity Allowance – there are special rules for pregnant women and new mothers who don’t get these payments
  • are off work for a pregnancy-related illness in the 4 weeks before the week (Sunday to Saturday) that their baby is due
  • were in custody or on strike on the first day of sickness (including any linked periods)
  • are working outside the EU and you’re not liable for their National Insurance contributions
  • received Employment Support Allowance within 12 weeks of starting or returning to work for you.

Linked periods of sickness

If your employee has regular periods of sickness, they may count as ‘linked’. To be linked, the periods must:

  • qualify for SSP by lasting 4 or more days each
  • be 8 weeks or less apart

Your employee is no longer eligible for SSP if they have a continuous series of linked periods that lasts more than 3 years.

To read the full guide for Shared Parental Leave and Pay visit the GOV.UK website