Statutory sick pay, sickness and fit notes


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Guides, Resources

Updated 2014.

SSP is paid to employees or workers (who pay Class 1 National Insurance Contributions) who cannot work because of sickness.

Those who are self-employed (and pay Class 2 National Insurance Contributions) have no entitlement to Statutory Sick Pay, but may be able to claim Incapacity Benefit or Employment and Support Allowance (which was introduced to replace Incapacity Benefit in January 2011).  The Direct Gov page here gives more details of this change.

The standard rate of SSP is £87.55 from 6th April 2014.  You are entitled to SSP from your employer if you meet the qualifying conditions:

  • You must be sick for at least 4 days in a row (including weekends and bank holidays)
  • You must earn before tax and national insurance deductions an average of £111 per week (from 6th April 2014)
  • There is no minimum period you need to have worked for your employer to qualify for SSP
  • There are no age limits to receiving SSP
  • You must notify your Employer that you are sick as soon as possible.

SSP is not paid for the first 3 days of your sickness, but after that you are paid SSP for the days that you normally work.

SSP is paid for a maximum of 28 weeks and when it ends (or if you can no longer claim it) you may be able to claim Incapacity Benefit/Employment and Support Allowance from your local Job Centre; your employer needs to give you an SSP1 form which they complete and you send to your local Job Centre.

If your employer does not pay you SSP or you believe they are paying you an incorrect amount, and if you cannot sort this out with your employer, you can contact your local HM Revenue and Customs office who will help – find your local office here – you may also be able to make a claim for an ‘unlawful deduction of wages‘ through an Employment Tribunal.

Many employers may offer more generous payments to employees if they are off sick, under their own schemes (which may have different ‘reporting’ your sickness requirements).

From 6th April 2014, Employers will not be able to claim SSP costs back – see our new article here

If you are off sick you should let your employer know as soon as possible.   If your sickness is caused by an accident at work, then your Employer should follow their accident reporting requirements under RIDDOR regulations – details are here.  See our new article on accidents and injuries at work here.

Holiday entitlement during sick leave and sick leave during holidays!  Since 2012 we have been getting closer to some clarity on what happens in these situations – see our August 2012 Guide to holiday entitlement and sick leave here for full details.

Sick Notes

If you return from sickness within 7 days you should be required to fill in a self-certificate form explaining the nature of your sickness absence.

If you are ill for 7 days or more you need to get a certificate from your Doctor giving the reason why you could not go to work.  Your Employer cannot withhold SSP if you are late in sending in a fit note, although they can withhold SSP if you are late in notifying them that you are sick.

See more details here about working a second job while you are on long-term sick leave.

As of 6th April 2010 these certificates are known as a ‘fit note’.

The purpose of the new fit-note is to encourage the gradual reintroduction of employees to work, as they recover from their illness, which the Government believed would help both employees and employers.

The new ‘fit’ note will only have 2 options.  GP’s will indicate that sick individuals:

  • Are totally “unfit for work”
  • “May be fit for some work” (with GP’s advice)

They will not have an option to state you are fit for work.

The Government issued guidance and help for GP’s on completing the new fit notes (called Statement of Fitness for Work) and guidance for Employers on how to help employees return to work after periods of sickness.

Important information about fit notes:

  • The new ‘fit’ note can only be issued by GP’s for a maximum period of 3 months in the first 6 months of sickness.
  • The new statement is not required to be given to your employer until after the 7th calendar day of sickness.
  • The new system has no effect on how SSP functions or on Employers obligations under the Disability Discrimination Act.
  • The old white sick note (called Med 3) or pink sick note (called Med 5) are both replaced by the one new form (Statement of Fitness for Work).  The yellow (Med 10) form that is issued when an individual has been a hospital in-patient will not change and will continue to be issued.
  • GP’s are asked to choose ‘may be fit for work’ where they think the person may be able to return to work, even if not completely well, if they get suitable support from their Employers.
  • GP’s will then list whether an employee would benefit from a phased return to work, altered hours or duties or workplace adaptions, but they do not need to go into detail regarding what activities an employee can carry out.
  • The fit note will state whether you need to see your GP again (at the end of the duration of the fit note), before you return to normal or ‘supported’ work.  If your GP does not need to see you again you would be expected to return to work at the end of the Statement period.  If your GP needs to see you before this date, and during this consultation they feel you can return to normal work (without support, which is being called ‘functional limitations’) you will not be issued with a new statement.
  • If circumstances change during the period of the fit note duration and employees feel they are ready to return to work (with or without support), they need to return to their GP for an amended fit note.

More information on what the Employers guidance notes on fit-notes say:

  • Employers should discuss the GP’s ‘may be fit for some work’ comments with the employee to see if the GP’s suggestions can be accommodated.
  • If the matter cannot be resolved with the employee, Employers are asked to consider taking advice from an Occupational Health (OH) professional and/or contact the GP to discuss the comments.
  • If an Employer cannot provide the necessary support or cannot agree with the Employee about the type of support suggested by the GP, then the Government have advised that the GP’s comments are advisory only and so are not binding on the Employer.  Where there is no agreement and the employee cannot return to work then the ‘fit note’ will be treated as a ‘not fit for work’ note, until the situation changes.

For information about dismissals due to ill-health see our Guide to how your Employment can come to an End here.

For information about disability and discrimination and more about reasonable adjustments see our Guide here.

If you are an Employer and need ongoing professional help with any staff/freelance issues, or a Contractor/Freelancer/Employee with a complicated employment related problem then talk to Lesley at The HR Kiosk - a Human Resources Consultancy for small businesses – our fees are low to reflect the pressures on small businesses and you can hire us for as much time as you need.

Please note that the advice given on this website and by our Advisors is guidance only and cannot be taken as an authoritative or current interpretation of the law. It can also not be seen as specific advice for individual cases. Please also note that there are differences in legislation in Northern Ireland.

Photo by Adrian Clark

  • http://www.workinjuryie.com/occupational-health-claims/ occupational health claims

    nice post….. thanks for the information…

    • http://www.freelanceadvisor.co.uk FreelanceAdvisor

      Thanks for your comment! Always nice to know we’re helping!

  • Martin Collard

    When I transferred over from one company to another via TUPE we had to change from fortnightly pay to monthly pay and were given a company loan to do this payable back out of wages over a year. Now I am off sick and am only in receipt of SSP , can my employer deduct the monthly costs of the “loan” from my SSP. It is not a student loan. More like a company bridging loan and is about £120 per month. SSP is killed if this is taken like this.

  • Sue

    I wonder if you can help me.  My contract states that I have 20 days full pay sick and 20 days half pay.  In July I was off for 17 work days after being diagonised with arthritis in noth knees and my hip.  I eventually had cortisone injections and returned to work a week earlier than my certificate stated.  This bought my sick leave up to 24 days so was paid accordingly on half pay.  I was called in today by my line manager (IT director) who informed me that as sick pay is discretionary I will not be paid any sick leave (if taken) until my 24 days are cleared.  We work on a rolling sick year and I did have 7 days off previous to this sick period.  Can they do this?  I thought that it was discretionary after the 20/20 days had been used up and I know for a fact that other people within the company have had far more time off and been paid full pay.  Many thanks for any help

    • Lesley Furber

      hi Sue, thanks for your query.  Basically, this is all going to come down to how the occupational sick pay is described in the policy/handbook/contract.  You will always be entitled to SSP (if you meet the qualifying conditions), however, occupational sick pay (as it is enhanced) will most likely be discretionary.  I’m not sure what you mean by the ’24 days are cleared’ though?  Does he mean into next year? If you can let me know by e-mail on workline@freelanceadvisor.co.uk.  Regards, Lesley, Workline

  • Hyattconsultantsllp

    i have an employee who is off sick from my hairdressing salon and claiming sick pay but is working freelance from home is this allowed

    • Lesley Furber

      hi, basically no – but there are a lot of factors you need to take into account.  I’m going to e-mail you.  Regards, Lesley, Workline

  • Coopsmacat

    Hi I’m a self employed Childminder and am 20 wks pregnant at the min.
    I suffer from back problems previous to my pregnancy and am finding it quite difficult working at the moment I work 2 days a week I know if I go see my gp they will tell me to rest and prob give a sick note but I don’t know what I’d have to do next if he does as I can’t afford time off work but can’t risk making matters worse what would I do with a sick note if given one where do I take it and how long would I be able to have off before it would mean I start maternity early as I really don’t want to do that.
    Many thanks
    Sarah

    • Lesley Furber

      hi Sarah, I’m going to e-mail you as I have some questions.  Regards, Lesley, Workline

  • Ds

    Hi

    I have been in my job just over a year now and have been signed off by the doctor due to stress related issues for almost 2 months now, in my first month off I recieved a full months wage and then this month they are advising that I am not getting any pay! Is this allowed?

    Thanks

    • Lesley Furber

       Hi, it’s going to depend on what your contract says about what your Employer will pay you when you’re ill.  They do not have a legal obligation to pay you any more than SSP, but they must pay you this if you meet the SSP qualifying conditions.  (This is all assuming you are a worker or an employee and are not a Freelancer).  If you have any queries you can e-mail me on workline@freelanceadvisor.co.uk.  Regards, Lesley, Workline

  • Jasonrock10

    hi i have been with my employer for ten years now..but recentley i have been out of work with depression and siatica..its been 3 monthes since i last worked.i have had 2 meetings with the company and they say they are looking to sack me as they can not get a fixed time of when i will return to work..this as made me more anxious and really upset..do i have any rights or are they free to let me go as they want to..there is little or no advice on my rights

    • Lesley Furber

       hi Jason, you have rights but your Employer also has the right to dismiss you on the grounds of incapacity.  In order for your Employer to dismiss you and for this to be seen as ‘fair’ at an Employment Tribunal then they need to make sure that your 
      job is suitable for you and you’ve had adequate time to recover from your illness; they must follow a fair procedure to dismiss you which will include
      consultation with you and they must have obtained medical evidence to
      determine whether you can continue to be employed and whether your
      sickness levels will continue at the same level.   If you’re disabled
      your employer has a legal duty to try to make ‘reasonable adjustments’
      to how/where you work and has to take into account the new provisions
      under the Equality Act 2010.  You could visit your local Citizens Advice Bureau as they may be able to help you here.  Good luck, Lesley, Workline

  • Guest

    Does anyone now if fit note stating needs to be off work for a month means a calender month or 28 days?

    • Lesley Furber

      Hi, I would imagine if it says a month it means a whole month – but ideally your GP needs to be clearer about what they mean.  Regards, Lesley, Workline

      • Guest

        Hi Lesley,

        The Dr cant be any clearer as he has dispensed the sick note putting the word “a month”. The sick note has been sent to my employer already. I just need to know its definition from a medically legal point of view.
        Thank u

        • Lesley Furber

          hi Guest, I’m afraid I can’t help you with that – you do need to ask your GP what he/she actually meant.  Regards, Lesley, Workline

  • Stacemarie

    hello. i was ill with flu for one week and 3days, sick note was handed in to my employer but failed to pay, head office said they havnt recieved the sicknote when my store manger had it.  next pay i had from last month i still havnt got paid it. however, its been total 7 weeks since i was ill with flu, now im off again due to depression and panic attacks for 8weeks, sicknote was handed to my employer. head office recieved this sicknote but still havnt recieved my other sick note from 7weeks ago. they told me i cannot get paid this 8weeks sick pay as i wasnt earning enough in the last 8weeks before my illness. i was working 20hours a week in last 8weeks before my illness but had one week and three day off when i had flu.(with sicknote)
    so has my store manager effected my ssp because he failed to pass my (flu) sick note onto hr? and what should i do?

    • Lesley Furber

      Hi I’m going to reply to you by e-mail as I have some questions.  Regards, Lesley, Workline

  • Mikecoles

    Can anyone tell me does a fit note run from date of issue or does it run concurrently to a previous issued note that expired 2 days later?

    • Lesley Furber

      Hi, I’m afraid I don’t know for sure but I would guess it runs from the date of issue.  Regards, Lesley, Workline

  • Claire Appleton

    Hi, can you please tell me what to do as an Employer if: -

    Employee Statement of Fitness has expired but the Employee has not returned to work.

    (statement says – not fit for work for 2 weeks and they will not need to assess fitness for work again at the end of this period).

    thanks.

    • Lesley Furber

      hi Claire, I’m going to reply to you by e-mail.  Regards, Lesley, Workline

  • Milesfairhurst

    went off work beginning tuesday and need to know if weekends/bank holidays are included in my days off…i only work monday-friday..

    • Lesley Furber

      Miles, hi, do you mean if weekends/bank holidays are included in sick pay or in your holiday days? You can e-mail me on workline@freelanceadvisor.co.uk.  Regards, Lesley, Workline

  • http://www.facebook.com/HANDCraftedCards Sam Lewis

    Can anyone tell me if the fit note starts from the “Date I assessed your case” or from the “Date of Statement”?

    • Lesley Furber

      hi Sam, the advice for GP’s when Fit Notes were introduced says that         
                   
               
      “The Statement may be issued:
      – on the day that you assessed your patient;
      – on a date after you assessed your patient if you consider
      that it would have been reasonable to issue a Statement
      on the day of the assessment; or
      –     after consideration of a written report from another
      doctor or registered health care professional”
                     
      So I am assuming that means it should start from the date of assessment. 
      Regards, Lesley, Workline

  • Viv

    Hi Lesley,

    I am off with anxiety and panic disorder. I have been receiving full pay  for the first 2 months and then it dropped to 50% OSP but I was not informed although they committed to keep in touch on a weekly basis (did not happen) and keep me informed. of any changes.
    Should I not have been notified of the reduction and stated a date?… what if they stop all pay and I just find it out when I look at a bank statement. I need a bit of advice plse. Dr advised ‘fit for work with amended duties’ (stated vaguely) , company have refered me to thier website and promised to forward internal links of which Ihave recieved one expired role. 

    • Lesley Furber

      Hi Viv, you need to check what your contract says about sick-pay and how much you will get and how long for – and any Company Policy they have about sick pay.  This should explain what should happen and when but you would expect them to contact you to confirm this.  If your Occupational Sick Pay runs out then you will receive Statutory Sick Pay (if you are entitled – see above).  I would advise that you call the appropriate person at your company and get them to confirm these things for you too.  Regards, Lesley, Workline

  • Debra

    Hi im a security officer who does a lot of walking, i have been given a fit note stating i need to reduce the amount of walking im doing due to planta fasciitus an injury to my foot. My employers have, for the past week before my fit note, been accomodating this and allowing me to use the security vehicle instead of walking. but since i gave them my note they have contacted me and told me i cannot return to work until it is sorted! What can i do as i cant afford to be off work? Surely they should continue to allow me to work as i have been?

    • Lesley Furber

      Hi Debra, thanks for your message.  This is a difficult situation as your Employers have a duty to look after your safety so I can possibly see why they have done this – however, what did the fit note say, did the GP advise your Employers that you could continue to work? Employers do not need to follow this advice from a GP but will consider whether the GP’s recommendations are  possible.  Have you discussed with your Employers that you would like to continue working if you can use a vehicle? Have they confirmed what pay you will receive, as you will be entitled to Statutory Sick Pay once you meet the qualifying conditions (see above).  Hope that helps.  If you have any queries you can e-mail me on workline@freelanceadvisor.co.uk.  Regards, Lesley, Workline

      • Lingler_4

        Hi Lesley, thanks for replying my fit note said i need reduced walking but am fit for work. I am going to arrange a meeting with my employer to try to arrange to come back to work and use the vehicle but am anticipating it to be difficult as i stated to them i would like to continue working but this appeared to fall on deaf ears. Thanks again.

  • Dolores

    Hello, just about to employ 4 carers for my disabled son. They will be working 24hours on and 3 days off, so this means they will work 7 days in a 28 day period. I am in the process of writing contracts and was wondering if the SSP rule of 3 waiting days still applies for these hours.

    ~Thank you in anticipation of a reply.

    Dottie

  • Helen

    I am self employed and employ 6 staff I recently had an accident that has put me off work for 6 + weeks, am I able to claim any sort of sick pay?

  • sandy

    hi leslie i have been working for my employer for only one week. I then went on a two week previously booked holiday. I have fallen and damaged my knee, am on crutches and will be off work for some time, will i be able to get ssp from my employer. thanks

    • Lesley Furber, Workline

      Hi Sandy yes you are entitled to SSP while you are employed (there is no time limit you need to be at your Employers), but SSP is not payable until the 4th day of sickness. Hope that helps. Regards, Lesley, Workline

  • Michael

    Hi i need some help please, i had a heart operation on 12/12/12 and will be off work for approx 5 months, im self employed and stay with my partner who works full time as far as i was aware i had paid all class 2 national insurance until i tried to make a claim while i was off work. I was told i was entitled to £71 a week but had to send a cheque with the date of year missed written on it to inland revenue to cover the period missed then i was entitled to benefit, now im being told that payment has been put towards previous year and i still need to pay more!I was also told that late payments take six weeks to go on to the system and I now have no money to pay anymore to them and still have 3.5 months until i can return to work! What can i do about it? Thanks

    • lesleyfurber

      Hi Michael, thanks for your message. I’m afraid I can’t help you as this is to do with HMRC/benefits. You should call the HMRC or see Citizens Advice. Good luck. Regards, Lesley, Workline

  • Rod

    Hi i need to know can my employer put me on the sick. I fractured a bone in my right hand last October 18th, so was not able to do drive. My FLM ( fleet line manager ) asked me if i would like to work in the office for awhile until my cast came off. When it did my consultant put on my sick note able to drive but light duties only. The flm put another driver with me. Now my consultant has told me because of the fracture it as caused arthritis to flare up and i need to have a steriod injection under a local, this was yesterday 21st February and he has still put light duties only. I feel they should put me back in the office or put the other driver with me until i can lift with both hands. Please help. Thank you.

    • lesleyfurber

      Hi Rod, your employer should do all it can to comply with the hospital’s advice, but it is not binding on them, they can do what is best for their business in the circumstances. So, if they are unable to provide you with other light duties then yes they can require you to be on sick leave. Regards, Lesley, Workline

  • Hanalou88

    HI just wondering if you could help me, ive been signed off work since the first week in december2012 at least up until the 14th of march, but after collecting my wages from work this week i noticed my rate of ssp has been reduced from 85.85 to 68.68 on asking my employer he told me that it reduces after so long, is this right?

  • disqus_UtrfXiipHn

    hi,
    i am a nurse in the nhs. i am 20 weeks pregnant. i have had 4 weeks pregnancy related sickness in my first trimester and now i have sciatica caused by pregnancy also made worse by work. i have been in employment under a year. the ‘standard’ sick policy pays ’1 month full pay and 2months half pay’. can my employer still deduct my wages even with pregnancy related illness?

    • lesleyfurber

      Hi, thanks for your query. The sick pay policy should stand regardless of the reason for the sickness. Your maternity leave will start earlier though if you are absent from
      work for a pregnancy-related reason in the four-week period before your
      expected week of childbirth. Regards, Lesley, Workline

  • disqus_ku1AGidWDq

    hiya my ssp has just dropped from 85.85 to 68.68. ive been on sick 5mnths now, and my employer wont tell me the reason its dropped. Could you tell me if it does drop after 5mnths please?

    • lesleyfurber

      Hi, thanks for your message. SSP stops completely after 28 weeks. It can’t be reduced though. Do you have a contract of employment that might explain what is going on if your Employer will not explain what has happened? Regards, Lesley, Workline

  • Steve

    Hi

    I have been of sick since the end of October 2012. My employer informed me I am entitled to 20 weeks full pay and 20 weeks half pay. After a meeting with my employers I was sent an SSP1 form informing me to cliam ESA as the 28week SSP has ended. I have only been paid 8 weeks of half pay, instead of 20 weeks stated in my contract of employment. My employers won’t tell me why the sudden change of mind. Please can you tell me if this is legal.

    Thanks

    • lesleyfurber

      hi Steve, your Employer does not have to pay you more than the SSP rate if you are off sick – however if your contract (or any sickness policy that your Employer has) says that you are entitled to 20 weeks half pay, and this is not discretionary, then you should receive it. So you need to check your contract/handbook/sickness policy and see how this is described, whether there is a ‘discretionary’ element to the sick pay. Your Employer should tell you why their position has changed though. Regards, Lesley, Workline

  • jean

    hi .I booked a holiday abroad in January to be taken beginning June 2013. 3 weeks ago I badly sprained my foot & was put on the sick .my doctor has now given me another unfit for work note for a further 3 weeks .this goes into / over my pre booked holiday period .the doctor said I would benefit from the holiday whilst I am unfit to do my job .My employer said that I would still have use my holiday entitlement & not sickness .others have told that I should get my holiday entitlement back at a later date could you please tell who is correct . ny thanks

    • lesleyfurber

      Hi Jean, thanks for your message. If you have been signed as unfit for work then sick pay should cover this and you should get your holiday entitlement back. However, if you only get paid SSP when you are off sick then it may actually benefit you to take this as holiday, i.e. as you’d get paid more for the period. Hope that helps. Regards, Lesley, Workline

  • MOnika

    Hi, I want ask about SSP. I have been ill for two weeks and 3 days, Im not bring my employer sick leave and self certificate ass soon ass possible,but just on secound week of my sick, (but my employer known about my ill becouse I call to office every single day) so they not pay me for first week normaly but they pay me on next pay day (next week) for two weeks. They pay me only about 100 pounds for two weeks, I think that is not enought. Am I have right? What you think about this? I found information that I should get 85.85 for each week. What I should to do?

    • lesleyfurber

      Hi Monika. SSP if you work full-time is £85.95 per week at the moment. It is not paid for the first 3 days of sickness though and then will be paid for every day you would normally work. You need to ask your Employer how they have worked out what they are paying you – if you are not providing sick certificates then your Employer may not be able to pay you. Hope that helps. Regards, Lesley, Workline

  • Debra

    Hi i have been off sick and its coming up to my 6 Months, but in the middle i came back on a Fase to work note for a week but found it to much and was put off sick again does this count as contiues sick so i go to half pay or does it count as going back to work.

    • lesleyfurber

      Hi Debra, it’s going to depend how long you can back for I expect. Sick periods can be ‘linked’ for statutory sick pay reasons if they start within 8 weeks of each other.. Obviously I don’t know the ‘rules’ of your occupational sick pay scheme so you need to find them and read them. Regards, Lesley, Workline

  • Simon

    Hi, i have injured my hand in work, I’ve been off for two weeks, with the doctors note, now I came back and thr store manager decided he will not pay me for those two weeks as the injury has been caused by me not following the health and safety, does he have the right to do that? Thanks !

    • lesleyfurber

      Hi Simon, no, you are eligible for SSP for those 2 weeks. Regards, Lesley, Workline

  • Jonpaul Reay

    Hi. I have been off sick due to the heat and the working environment which made me clinically ill. Can I request that I am paid for the days pay I lost due?

    • lesleyfurber

      Hi Jonpaul, I have replied to your e-mail about the same. Regards, Lesley, Workline

  • marie

    hi my partner has been off sick since feb 2012 due to cancer and work have been really good and paid full pay he went back feb 2013 ( phased bak to work ov 3 weeks ) with a fit for work note that the doctor didnt want to give but did because my partner was desperate to go back to work but he couldnt cope due to his feet ( nerve end damage due to chemo ) and has fit for work under amended duties but work cannot find a job that requires him to sit down and from the 1st of august 2013 they will b putting him on ssp ,but he is fit for work just amended duties we are confused can they put him on ssp even tho hes fit for work please help

    • lesleyfurber

      HI Marie, thanks for your message and I’m sorry to hear about your situation. If he’s fit for work but with amended duties then his Employer should look to amend his duties. However, a GP’s suggestions on a fit-note are not binding on an Employer and they do not need to do this. The Employer should try to meet the requirements, but if that is not possible, then they may have no choice but to do what they are doing. Will they talk to your partner to explain this to him and explain what plans they have etc. Regards and good luck. Lesley, Workline

      • marie

        they have tryd to amend his duties well they gave him a list of jobs on offer but they are all standing jobs no sit down and he cud do them with a weeks retrainin but they wont do it but thank you so much atleast we no now thank you again ,can he take them for wrongful dismissal ? once again ty

        • lesleyfurber

          HI Marie, yes he could try an unfair dismissal case if his employment is ended on ill-health grounds. Good luck. Regards, Lesley, Workline

          • marie

            Thank you for your help

  • Dena Hiscock

    Hi i have fractured my ankle at work playing rounders this happened the day before breaking up for 6 weeks holiday as i work in a college. do i need to inform my work place that this has happened? will i need to go on sick pay and what would happen to my Holiday pay?
    thanks

  • stuart

    hi i have been off work as a result of having to take insulin for my
    diabetes as this is the first time i have informed DVLA of this i cant
    drive until they say it is ok as a result i asked for dissability leave
    so i didn’t face any financial hardship as result of it not being my
    fault this was refused and had to wait 3 weeks for any money as i am
    only part time at the weekends and had wait the normal 3 qualifying days
    is this legal as the equality act 2010 statutory code of practice lists
    disability leave as a reasonable adjustment ?? however they said they
    would not be counting the time for purposes of absent management can you
    advise please

    • lesleyfurber

      Hi Stuart thanks for your message. Your Employer may have a sick-pay policy which explains what sort of sick pay they will pay and when and they may not have a ‘disability leave’ policy seperately – if they only pay SSP when you are ill then yes you would have to sit out the qualifying days. If they pay occupational sick pay then you need to find out in what circumstances. I’m afraid I don’t know if diabetes is classed as a disability or not (you would know better than me I’m sure). I’m afraid I’m not aware of this statutory code of practice in detail , however reasonable adjustments are normally suggestions for companies to make if they are able to/if this is practical. The one thing your company could have done, in terms of reasonable adjustments, is consider if they had any other jobs that you could do that did not involve driving, as a way round this (obviously I don’t know what you do etc). Hope that helps. Regards, Lesley, Workline

  • Jessica

    Hi I’m not too sure if you can help but I’m 6 months pregnant and suffering with really bad back pain due to working at a computer all day my doctor has already said he could sign me off for this but I don’t really want to have to do this but if he was to put me on reduced hours would I get full pay or statutory sick pay?
    Thanks

    • lesleyfurber

      Hi Jessica, thanks for your message. I’m afraid I can’t help with this as the answer is going to depend on what your Company offers in these circumstances. You need to check your employment contract/Staff Handbook if you have one. Regards, Lesley, Workline

  • Nathan Watson

    hi there iv been on the sick for 16 weeks and just received a letter from my employer saying that my pay is gonna decrease by 1/2. this starts as of next week but I don’t know how I’m going to cope? what extra help can I get because when my wage drops il be lucky to pay the basic bills

    • lesleyfurber

      Hi Nathan, I’m afraid I can’t help you with this question, you are best to talk to the JobCentre or Citizens Advice. Good luck. Regards, Lesley, Workline

      • Nathan Watson

        that ain’t a good sign :( can I look for another job whilst on sick from my current employer as there the reason I’m on the sick

        • lesleyfurber

          Hi Nathan, yes you can look for a new job, but you shouldn’t work for anyone else while you are on sick leave. Good luck. Lesley

  • emma

    could i hand in my notice when on the sick would i get the hoilday pay what they owe me

    • lesleyfurber

      Hi Emma, you would be entitled to holiday until the last day of your employment. Regards, Lesley, Workline

  • Peter

    I am a full-time student and work part-time…I am off sick and will be for a month…my employer said that I do not have any sick pay leeft…Can a student seek SSP from Job-centre ( SSP1)?

    • lesleyfurber

      hi Peter, thanks for your message. If your SSP entitlement is exhausted (but this is 28 weeks) then you may be able to claim Employment and Support Allowance from the Job Centre. Regards, Lesley, Workline

  • Jaison

    I am a full-time student and work part-time, I have been off sick for 4 weeks and have a sick note from the doctor for the 4 weeks am i entitled to SSP?

    • lesleyfurber

      Hi Jaison, yes if you meet the ‘qualifying’ conditions to meet SSP (as described above) then yes you should. Regards, Lesley, Workline

  • sharon

    I had accident at work I have damaged the nerves in my fingers and I am on sick leave now I want to know about my wages from my firm.

    • lesleyfurber

      hi Sharon, thanks for your message. It’s going to depend entirely on what sick pay your company gives – whether they give just Statutory Sick Pay or whether they offer occupational sick pay on top. Regards, Lesley, Workline

  • Lisa Brown

    I have been off sick for the past 5 weeks and now I am off for another two weeks,my partner has been on the sick for over a year are we entitled to any benefits please

    • lesleyfurber

      Hi Lisa, thanks for your message. I’m afraid I can’t help you here as I have little knowledge of benefits, you need to visit your local JobCentre Plus. Regards, Lesley, Workline

  • james elliott

    i have been signed of work with stress my sicknote ended and i have lapsed a week befor getting my second the company know my situation but have not paid me during the lapsed week am i entitled to ssp for that week ?

    • lesleyfurber

      Hi James, thanks for your message. If you have not followed your Employers sickness ‘reporting’ requirements then yes you may forfeit both occupational sick pay and SSP. You need to check what their policy is. Regards, Lesley, Workline

  • stephanie

    i have been off of work for 3.5 working days with chronic bronchitis, am i entitled to sick pay?

    • lesleyfurber

      Hi Stephanie, you won’t be entitled to SSP as you were not off sick long enough. You may be eligible for occupational sick pay if your employer offers this – you need to check their sick pay policy if they have one. Regards, Lesley, Workline

  • hayley

    I have tried posting a message on here couple of days ago asking for advice but its not appeared ?

  • hayley

    I have been signed off sick by the doctor for the past month and a half with anxiety and depression.My employer has said she is not going to pay me any sick pay and is ignoring any way I am trying to contact her. I have only worked there for two months so far so still in my 3month probationary period. BUT Im really worried as I havnt signed a contract or even seen one. I dont get wage slips yet have proof by my bank statements. I have never been paid in full and never on time. Im still owed money from the time i did work last month also. My partner wants me to hand my notice in with immediate effect but Im wanting to get what im owed first. My well being practitioner has said he doesnt think its right for me to go back yet if at all as this seems to be playing part of why im feeling like I do.

    • lesleyfurber

      Hi Hayley, thanks for your message and sorry to hear about your situation. Your Employer is breaking the law on several fronts – if you are an employee you should receive pay slips and have a contract after 2 months and be paid for the work you have done. You should receive SSP for the time you are off sick, presuming you are not entitled to receive occupational sick pay which I doubt your employer offers (if you meet the qualifying conditions above) and your employer needs to organise this. I wouldn’t hand in your notice as it’s probably likely that your employment will end at the end of the 3 month probationary period anyway and you wont’ be made permanent (obviously I don’t know that but from what you’ve described that seems likely). The only thing you can do is keep trying to communicate with your employer about the pay and SSP you are owed. If your employment ends and you still have not received what you are owed you would be entitled to make a claim for an ‘unauthorised’ deduction of wages for the pay you have not received. Hope that helps. Regards, Lesley, Workline

      • hayley

        Thanks for your reply Lesley. I have had NO luck in receiving ANY pay from the employer. She has actually just replied to my messages saying she doesn’t owe me anything and its noted in my contract. BuT I have NOT personally seen this contract?? She still has all my sick notes AND some personal belongings of mine (qualification certificates etc.) Can you offer me any further help and information on where I stand and how to take it further?
        Look forward to hearing back from you.
        Many Thanks,
        Hayley.

  • toni

    Hi I have been signed off for 3 and a half months with suspected epilepsy but I have just been informed I dont have it but my employer said I can’t come back to work until I am on medication. Will I have to pay back the ssp as I don’t have what I was signed off for?

    • lesleyfurber

      Hi Toni, thanks for your message. No you won’t have to pay back the SSP as you were signed off for what your GP believed was a genuine illness. Your GP needs to inform your Employer that you do not have this condition and therefore do not need medication for it (if that is the case). Hope that helps. Regards, Lesley, Workline

  • gary collins

    Im currently working via an agency and have been with the same company for 16 weeks. The job I am on has cased my hand whichbi broke a year ago to become aggravated and as a result cannot use my hand which means I cant do my job. Will a sick note cover me if I go to the dr? Thanks

    • lesleyfurber

      Hi Gary, thanks for your message. It depends what you mean by ‘cover’ you? A sick note you give to your employer so they can pay you any sick pay you are due, but if you mean will you keep your job via the agency, that will depend on the company you are working for and their general attitude towards sickness/if they need to replace you etc etc. Hope that helps. Regards, Lesley, Workline

  • vicki piercy

    My husband has leukemia, and has been receiving statutory sick pay. We recently found out that his
    chemotherapy has not worked as well as hoped and he needs a transplant. I have been distracted
    and forgot to renew his sick note. Yesterday I got a really unpleasant text from his employer saying that his last sick note ran out on November 1st 2013 and as a result they cannot pay him. Today his doctor gave me a new (backdated) sick note that covers him for the period mentioned. Can his employer withhold this money
    or is he legally obliged to pay it? If he withholds it what can i do?

    • lesleyfurber

      HI Vicki, thanks for your message and sorry to hear about your circumstances. I don’t believe his Employer is correct to say they cannot pay him SSP without an uptodate sick note – see this page here https://www.gov.uk/employers-sick-pay/notice-and-fit-notes (they could withhold any occupational sick pay he was entitled to if he didn’t follow the ‘reporting’ requirements). Are you able to talk to the Employer/send in the backdated sick note? If the Employer won’t pay then you can call the HMRC (there is a link in the article above to find your local office) who may be able to help you sort this out. Good luck. Regards, Lesley, Workline

  • Margaret

    Hi Vicki
    I have been off work for five months at this point in time and am likely to be off work for several more months. I have just received SSP1 from my employer stating that I will no longer be entitled to SSP after the 28 week period.
    My contract of employment includes an occupational sick scheme six months full pay followed by sick months half pay given my length of service to date. Given receipt of the SSP will I still be entitled to receive the half pay to which I am entitled under the terms of my contract of employment ?
    The form was accompanied by a printout stating that I may be able to claim Employment and Support Allowance. Can you please clarify if possible where I stand.
    Thank-you

    • lesleyfurber

      Hi Margaret, SSP is paid alongside occupational pay (if your employer offers this). So they are just notifying that your entitlement to SSP is ending. If you have been receiving occupational sick pay then you should carry on receiving this (if you meet their scheme’s requirements). You need to check with your employer what you will continue to receive. Regards, Lesley, Workline

  • Steven

    Hi I’ve been off sick since 22nd October last year after having a work accident, I’ve just had an operation on my back and will be off for another 3 months. I still have 7 days holiday to take however the new holiday year starts on 1st April, am I legally entitled to either be paid for these holidays or have them carried forward to the next holiday year? Thanks.

    • lesleyfurber

      hi Steven, thanks for your message. You can ask to ‘take’ these holidays now during your sick leave (so in effect you get paid for them, which is good if you are on less pay than normal or only receiving SSP). You can carry over holiday accrued during sickness entitlement, but this is usually limited to the original 20 days (which usually includes bank holidays) of the Working Time Regulations. Good luck. Regards, Lesley, Workline

  • Nell Smyth

    I really need some advice! I was signed off sick on Wed 26th March for 3 weeks – am I due to start back work on Thurs 17th April? 1st Fit Note so really unclear how it all works – thanks!

    • lesleyfurber

      Hi Nell, thanks for your message. I’m not sure what you want to know? You should have sent your sick note to your employer. If your employer has a ‘sickness absence’ policy then you should read that; if they don’t you need to ask them any questions you have. Regards, Lesley, Workline

  • Dan P

    Hi, I hurt my foot and haven’t been able to put any pressure on it for the last 4 days (including tomorrow) I have been off of work and contacted them, they have asked for a sick note as when I will be going back I will have been gone more than 7 days (Including upcoming bank holidays and weekends). I will most likely be be back at work on the upcoming tuesday 22nd april.
    Should I have got a sick note from the doctor prior to this? Or am I perfectly okay to just go tell my doctor what has happened and they will give me one?

    • lesleyfurber

      Hi Dan, yes you can get a sick note from the doctor now – he/she may backdate it to the start date, that is ok. Regards, Lesley, Workline

  • lynn

    hello,
    my husband was signed of sick for 3 weeks with depression and the doctor has given him a ‘fit note’ saying he can work altered hours untill he feels confident working full time again. but his employer has now said they are changing his contract to 20 hours if he doesnt come back full time by the 25/4 and there is a possability they wont be putting him back on to his 40 hour contract. is this legal and where would we stand?

    • lesleyfurber

      Hi Lynn, thanks for your message. The Employer does not have to do what the GP advises, although they should if they can. So is 20 hours not what was advised by the GP? The employer shouldn’t be changing his hours permanently though, without his agreement. Otherwise they are changing his terms and conditions – they can do this but they need to do this properly, more details are here – http://www.freelanceadvisor.co.uk/go-freelance-guide/written-statements-and-contracts/
      Good luck. Regards, Lesley, Workline

  • shirley

    hi, im due to have a replacement hip operation. I work 24 hours a week,will I be able to claim ssp as the company I work for don’t have their own sick pay scheme. thanks

    • lesleyfurber

      Hi Shirley, thanks for your message. Yes you will be able to claim SSP (as long as you earn over £111 per week). Regards, Lesley, Workline

  • Shailu Murthy

    Hi , I have been employed for 3 years and am currently 14 weeks pregnant. I had taken several days off in the beginning as I was extremely sick and preganancy was not known then. I have asked my HR to pay me SSP which they have agreed. I work in a small company with 10-12 employees and we do not have a sickness policy in place. However one of my colleagues was sick with chicken pox for a week and he got paid in full over and above his holidays. When I asked the HR about this they told me “Payment over and above SSP is discretionary and is assessed on case by case basis.”. Please could you explain what it means , as I think its unfair that one get paid and others don’t when there is no sickness policy for this company.

    • lesleyfurber

      HI Shailu, thanks for your message. It can be normal for companies to adopt this position (pay above SSP on a discretionary basis) and it’s not necessarily wrong – but it has to be applied fairly and consistently. Can you ask them what criteria they are using? – they need to be careful as they may be inadvertently discriminating against you because of your pregnancy. Good luck. Regards, Lesley, Workline

      • Shailu Murthy

        Hi Lesley, Thank you very much for your reply. I have been repeatedly
        asking my HR about this and they have been ignoring me. Hopefully I will
        get back to you when I hear from them. thanks for you help.

      • Shailu Murthy

        Hi Lesley,

        Could you please let me know if the below is legally right ?

        Quote
        Company sickness policy:
        The Company does have a sickness policy in place, but it is a non-occupational scheme. This means that the Company policy is to only pay Statutory Sick Pay, unless it is agreed by
        senior management that an employee should be paid in full at their usual day
        rate for any sickness absence. This is however, disrectionary and is
        managements decision, but the company reserves the right to pay sickness
        absence if they feel it is appropriate. This is a company wide policy. During
        pregnancy the sickness policy does not change, but during pregancy any
        ante-natal appointments, not sickness, will be paid.
        Unquote

        • lesleyfurber

          Hi Shailu, sorry I haven’t replied earlier; I tried on Friday but I couldn’t get into this page. I’m afraid I don’t understand the last sentence at all! Is that exactly what it says? As the way it is worded appears they won’t pay sickness at all, which is wrong. Regards, Lesley, Workline

          • Shailu Murthy

            Hi Lesley , Thanks for your reply. Ive been talking to my HR but its not been helpful. You asked me to check with them on what criteria they paid the employee and I asked HR the same question. she has replied me the below ;

            Quote
            I do feel I have explained the Company policy on sick pay several times, but appreciate that you want to understand the policy. I can not comment on another person as this is confidential. I will reiterate again that any payments for sickness that are on full pay are done so, after a decision by management. As management, it is their decision. There is no criteria, it is their decision. To clarify, the management decision is not to pay any additional sick pay over and above SSP. If you are sick prior to going on maternity, each case will be assessed separately.
            The handbook covers sickness on pages 25 – 34.
            Unquote

            The company handbook does not state any policy but only SSP. My only worry is HR might say that chicken pox is contagious so can be paid. But isn’t cold and flu also contagious ? I have no idea how to move forward. Ive lost close to 800 pounds due to sickness in initial pregnancy stages , which ofcourse I found out later that I was pregnant. Please could you help me how to move forward. If I can have your email id, I can forward all my conversation with HR so you can advise if they are correct. The HR girls are too young and they act on behalf on the same management of my company. I cannot blame them but I need to sort this out. Please help me understand if I can fight this, not legally but atleast with my management.

          • lesleyfurber

            Hi Shailu, my e-mail address is workline@freelanceadvisor.co.uk – but please note the free advice I give on here, and by e-mail, is time limited, due to the volume of queries I get. With regards, Lesley

          • Shailu Murthy

            Hi Lesley, I have just posted something yesterday to you and I have something more. The HR kept saying there is no sick pay. I couldn’t find my employement contract until yesterday , until I finally found it and looked at it. It does have a company sick pay and it says this;
            Quote
            If you are absent from work owing to sickness or injury, which is not a result of misconduct or work with another organisation,you will be eligible to receive 4 week’s Company Sick Pay after three months of service.Thereafter your entitlement to Company Sick pay is dependent upon your length of service as set out below (table form).

            Length of continuous at start of holiday year Maximum Duration of payment
            Three to four years’ service Four Weeks
            Over Four Years Three Months

            The Company may improve these provisions in individual cases if it considers
            circumstances warrant. Any improvement is at company’s discretion.

            Any absence that have qualified for Company Sick pay, in twelve months, up-to your current absence are deducted from the ‘maximum payment’ for your length of service.The amount of Company Sick pay that will be received will be the difference between your Statutory Sick Pay and your current basic salary.
            Company Sick pay will not be paid for any day of annual holiday, or bank or public holiday , for which you are paid holiday pay.
            Unquote

  • Deborah Coggins

    Hi I am currently 20 weeks pregnant and have just returned to work after 2 weeks sick leave due to sickness and dizziness. I am still feeling unwell and the midwife has advised another 2 weeks to be signed off. However I would prefer to just reduce my hours – partly because I don’t want to sit on my bum for another 2 weeks but also from a financial stand point. I am getting close to my maximum paid sick leave and will soon be on SSP. This will significantly impact my maternity pay as I am in the calculation period for my first 6 weeks maternity pay.

    If the doctor agrees for me to work part time hours (which I feel ok to do) how does this work re pay and sick leave? Does it count as sick leave? Would I be paid for reduced hours or full pay. Any advice would be much appreciated.

    Thanks

    • lesleyfurber

      Hi Deborah, thanks for your message. Your Employer would also have to agree that you work part-time hours and this would be seen as work and not sick-leave and you would paid for the reduced hours you actually work. Hope that helps. Regards, Lesley, Workline

  • justin smith

    hi i am due to have an operation which means i will be off work for 3 to 4 months and will only be paid for 3 weeks i know i can claim ssp but can i claim any other forms of benefits to help while i am off

    • lesleyfurber

      Hi Justin, you need to ask your local JobCentre plus if there are any other benefits you can claim. Good luck with your operation. Regards, Lesley, Workline

  • Chell

    I’m off work sick at present I wasn’t paid on time as my employers have lost my sick line from gp what should I do.

    • lesleyfurber

      hi Chell, you need to ask your Employer if you need to get another sick note for them to pay you what you are due. Regards, Lesley, Workline

  • valerie scott

    Hi ive been signed off work with stress and took my note in today. Whilst there I was cornered by the manager and asked why I was stressed, I told her and she wasn’t happy with my response. I said that I thought I should look for another job and she said she will not pay my sick pay, can she do this?

    • lesleyfurber

      Hi Valerie, thanks for your message. They must pay your SSP entitlement while you are still employed by them, she cannot refuse to do this if you are eligible for it. Good luck. Regards, Lesley, Workline

  • Leanne cole

    Leanne cole

    Hi
    My partner has been off work long term following his cancer treatment.
    He borrowed £400 from his employers son (son runs the business day to day) when he went off sick so we had some spare cash. This was to be paid back on return to work, weekly!
    His employer (the Dad) has now stopped his last 5 weeks SSP payments to pay back the loan, this was not agreed by my partner and no written consent was given.
    Is it legal for his employer to do this?

  • jenny

    my contract has ended while I am claiming ssp dose my employer still pay me ssp . if not what do I do next .