Should I get paid when I am off sick?

Yes. But you should check what it says in your contract of employment. There are two types of sick pay:

  • Statutory Sick Pay (SSP).If you qualify, SSP is set at £89.35 a week until April 2018. The amount is decided by the Government and is payable, subject to certain rules and conditions (see below) for up to 28 weeks. The first three days are unpaid (called 'waiting days'). When your entitlement to SSP runs out, you should apply for Employment and Support Allowance (ESA). Guidance on claiming ESA can be found here.
  • Occupational Sick Pay. This is an employers’ scheme, based on your normal earnings. It must be at least equivalent to SSP and is usually considerably better. Your entitlement depends on the rules drawn up by your employer. Occupational sick pay usually starts after a minimum period of service, e.g. a minimum of three months' service. Once you qualify, employers usually provide full pay for a set number of weeks, which may be followed by a period of half pay.

If your employer pays occupational sick pay that exceeds your entitlement to SSP, your employer is entitled to set its own rules about notification of your sickness and absence. But if the employer pays sick pay at only the rate fixed for SSP, it must operate the rules about notification of absence that are set out in the SSP scheme. Employers can – and often do – operate different schemes for different categories of worker.

Note: This content is provided as general background information and should not be taken as legal advice or financial advice for your particular situation. Make sure to get individual advice on your case from your union, a source on our free help page or an independent financial advisor before taking any action.

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