- in work;
- aged between 16 and 65 when your sickness began; and
- earning enough (i.e. the Lower Earnings Limit of £113 per week from April 2017 to pay National Insurance (NI) contributions. If your pay varies, your entitlement depends on your average pay over the last eight weeks); and
- absent from work due to illness for at least four consecutive days.
You will not qualify if you are self-employed or have not started work yet.
If you qualify for SSP, it is normally paid in the same way as your wages. It is paid at a flat rate of £89.35 and can be paid for up to 28 weeks, if your sickness lasts that long. It is not paid for the first three days that you are on sick leave – these are called 'waiting days'. Your employer can ask for reasonable evidence of incapacity.
In practice, this means a self-certification form for the first seven days of absence (including the first three waiting days) and a doctor’s Fit Note certificate after that.