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Article Index
Statutory Sick Pay for Employees
List of Abbreviations
About this Guide
People who cannot get SSP
Impact Of Sickness On Statutory Paternity/Adoption Pay
Other Sick Pay Schemes
Telling Your Employer You Are Sick
Evidence That You Are Sick
Calculating Average Weekly Earnings
National Health Service Employees
How SSP is Paid
Easement For Employers
What If I Disagree With My Employer's Decision?
NI Contribution Credits
When SSP Ends
SSP and Your Situation
For More Information and Advice

Statutory Sick Pay for Employees

SSP and Your Situation

Insolvent employers

If your employer becomes insolvent and cannot pay you SSP to which you are entitled, contact your Inland Revenue office. They will let you know if they can pay you SSP or if you need to claim IB.

Industrial accidents or diseases

SSP can be paid for sickness which is due to industrial accidents or diseases. You may be able to get other benefits if you are injured or disabled as the result of either an accident at work or an industrial disease. For more details see leaflet SD1 'Sick or Disabled?' available from a Jobcentre Plus or social security office or, in Northern Ireland the Social Security Agency.

Permitted work

If you return to work, for example on a part time basis, for therapeutic reasons or 'permitted work', those days are not treated as days of incapacity for SSP purposes, and no SSP can be paid for those days.

Married women and widows

If you pay reduced rate NI contributions as a married woman or widow, you may qualify for SSP but not for IB.

Leaving your job

If you have been sick during the last eight weeks of your job and you have received at least a week or more of SSP (more than three days is counted as a week), you can ask your employer to give you a leaver's statement, SSP 1(L). This is because a new employer can take into account SSP paid by a previous employer when working out your 28 weeks maximum SSP. It may mean you transfer to the higher rate of IB earlier than you would otherwise be able to do.

Your employer has to give you form SSP1(L) within seven days of you asking for it or, where this is not practicable because of their payroll arrangements, by the first day in the tax month following the one in which you asked for the statement.

If you do not start a new job and you claim IB in the eight weeks after leaving work, send your leaver's statement SSP 1(L) in with your claim.

Starting a new job

If you are sick for four or more days in a row during the first eight weeks of a new job and you have got a leaver's statement SSP1 (L) from your previous employer, you should give the form to your new employer so that they can take into account the SSP paid in the last eight weeks of your old job. You will still have to serve WDs with your new employer.

If you give the form to your employer more than seven days after your first qualifying day and there is not a good reason for it being late, your employer can ignore it. If your employer accepts that you had a good reason for giving it to them late, they can accept it up to 91 days after the first QD.

Working part-time

If you work part-time you may be able to get SSP for those days which are QDs, if you satisfy the qualifying conditions.

More than one job

You may be able to get SSP from each employer you work for, as long as you are incapable of work under each contract. You could end up with more than one amount of SSP if you qualify with each employer separately.

Your employer does not need to give information about your SSP to any other employers you work for.

Transfers of Undertakings (Protection of Employment) Regulations 1981 (TUPE)

If an employer takes over a business and Regulation 5 of the Transfer of Undertakings (Protection of Employment) Regulations 1981 TUPE applies, an employee's contract of service will not be broken. This means an employer must take account of any SSP paid by, and earnings with, the previous employer. If the employee is entitled to SSP, the employer must continue payment as the previous employer would have done.

There is a Department of Trade and Industry booklet - Individual Rights of Employees, A Guide for Employers and Employees - PL 716 (Rev8), available by contacting

DTI Publications Orderline
London SW1W 8YT
Telephone: 0870 150 2500
Fax: 0870 150 2333

Under age 16

You cannot qualify for SSP while you are under age 16. If you have an illness that spans your 16th birthday, your sickness spell is treated for SSP as starting on that day. After that, the usual rules apply to you.

Working abroad

You may be able to get SSP anywhere in the world if you are sick on holiday or while working abroad temporarily for your employer if your employer is liable to pay Class 1 NI contributions for you whilst you are abroad.

Agency workers

Agency workers who have to pay Class 1 NI contributions are entitled to SSP in the same way as other employees. Entitlement will depend on whether or not you are working on an assignment at the time you fall sick. If you are, then you may be entitled to SSP to the end of your current assignment. If not, you will not get SSP. If your employer does not pay you, you can ask your nearest Inland Revenue office for more information or a decision, see page 15.

Night-shift workers

If your shift runs past midnight, all work done in that shift is treated as done before midnight. But, whether you fall sick before or after midnight, your first day of sickness is the day the shift would have ended.

The Armed Forces

If you are a member of the Armed Forces you cannot get SSP.

Aircrew or continental shelf workers

Aircrew and employees working on the continental shelf are covered by the SSP scheme.


Foreign-going mariners are not entitled to SSP or IB on a voyage. There are special arrangements for pay during sickness on a voyage. See leaflet CA23 National Insurance contributions for mariners, available from your nearest Inland Revenue office.

Home-trade mariners are entitled to SSP if they are employed on a British ship or their contract was entered into in the United Kingdom and the person paying their earnings, or the owner of the vessel, has a place of business in Great Britain or Northern Ireland. If you want to know more, ask your employer or your nearest Inland Revenue office.

If you pay contributions direct to the Inland Revenue office as an employee

If you work for an employer who is not liable to pay contributions for you under the NI scheme, you are not entitled to SSP from them and they will not give you form SSP1.

Providing you are not entitled to SSP from other employers, you can make a claim for IB from a Jobcentre Plus or social secuity office.

Working Tax Credit (WTC)

WTC helps people with an illness or disability to return to, or take up, work by topping up their earnings.

If your earnings are too low to qualify you for social security benefits, you may be entitled to receive credits in order to protect your Retirement Pension/bereavement benefits. If both members of a couple are working and are in receipt of Tax Credits, only one of them may receive WTC.

To find out whether you are entitled to WTC you can ring the Working Tax Credit Helpline on 0845 300 3900 or textphone 0845 300 3909. The lines are open from 8.00am to 8.00pm (except Christmas Day). In Northern Ireland the Tax Credit Helpline number is 0845 603 2000 or textphone 0845 607 6078. These lines are open from 8.00am to 8.00pm (except Christmas Day, Boxing Day, New Years Day and Easter Sunday).

This article reproduced under Crown Copyright © 2003