How soon do I have to notify my employer?

You need to notify your employer of your sickness in order to be paid Statutory Sick Pay (SSP). In practice, it is best to do this as soon as possible, and you should follow your employer’s rules for notifying absence.

If you are claiming SSP:

  • You can notify your employer by phone or in writing. If there is a postal delay, your employer must treat notification in writing as made by you on the day your letter was posted.
  • Employers cannot insist that you tell them in person, or by a specific time on the first day you should have been at work in order to be paid SSP.
  • You do not have to notify your employer more frequently than once a week during the sickness.

If your employer is paying you more than SSP, your employer is entitled to set its own rules for notification of sickness absence, which are likely to be more onerous than the rules for SSP. Failing to follow these rules can result in you losing your right to occupational (but not statutory) sick pay.

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.