Statutory Sick Pay (SSP): A Practical Guide for Employers


One important component of payroll administration that affects both businesses and employees directly is Statutory Sick Pay (SSP). Complying with HMRC laws and supporting employees during sick leave require an understanding of how to calculate and administer SSP. We’ll explore all the important features of SSP in this extensive tutorial, including how it’s calculated, who qualifies, and what employers need to do to handle sick pay.

What is Statutory Sick Pay (SSP)?

In order to support employees who are unable to work due to illness, Statutory Sick Pay is a legal requirement in the UK. Employer-provided financial aid is governed by particular guidelines established by HMRC.

Eligibility Criteria for SSP:

Not all employees are automatically entitled to SSP. To qualify, employees must meet certain criteria, including:

  • Earning at least the Lower Earnings Limit (LEL) in the relevant period.
  • Informing the employer of their illness and absence within the specified time frame.
  • Providing medical evidence, such as a doctor’s note, if the absence exceeds a certain duration.

Calculating Statutory Sick Pay:

The employee’s average wages over a given time period are used to compute SSP. Companies should take the following actions:

  • Find out how many days the employee qualifies.
  • Decide on the Relevant Period so that earnings can be computed.
  • Determine the weekly average earnings (AWE).
  • To find the weekly amount, multiply the daily SSP rate by the relevant percentage.

Notification and Documentation:

It is imperative for employers to have unambiguous channels of communication so that workers may swiftly report any illness. Furthermore, obtaining medical documentation—such as a Fit Note, formerly called a Sick Note—assists in confirming the worker’s SSP eligibility.

Duration of SSP Payments:

For a maximum of 28 weeks, SSP is due. If an employee’s illness persists past this time, they may be eligible for further benefits like Employment and Support Allowance (ESA).

Record-Keeping and Reporting:

Employers are required to keep precise records of SSP durations and payments. These documents are essential for HMRC compliance and could be audited. Effective record-keeping is also necessary for managing staff absences.

Interaction with Company Sick Pay Policies:

Some employers provide SSP in addition to Company Sick Pay. In order to ensure fairness and openness, employers should make their sick pay rules evident to their staff members.

Returning to Work:

While an employee is on sick leave, employers should stay in constant contact with them and make sure the process of returning to work goes smoothly. This could entail talking about changes to workload or workspace arrangements.


A critical component of payroll administration is the efficient management of Statutory Sick Pay, which guarantees that workers receive the assistance they require when ill and complies with HMRC requirements. Employers can manage the complexity of sick pay and contribute to a cooperative and legal workplace by comprehending the eligibility requirements, accurately calculating SSP, and establishing clear communication channels.

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