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How to understand what Sick Pay you are entitled to

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Statutory Sick Pay (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 SSP, but may be able to claim Incapacity Benefit
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You are entitled to SSP from your Employer if you meet the qualifying conditions, which are that you must be sick for at least 4 days in a row (including weekends and bank holidays) and that you must earn, before tax and national insurance deductions, an average of £97.00 per week (from 6th April 2010.)
There is no minimum period you need to have worked for your Employer to qualify for SSP (in 2008 regulations were amended that meant agency workers on contracts of less than 3 months cannot be excluded from receiving SSP).
If you are off sick you should let your Employer know as soon as possible.
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. From 6th April 2010 these certificates will be known as ‘fit notes’ and GP’s will provide a computer-generated medical fit-note rather than the old hand-written sick note.
The new ‘fit’ note will only have 2 options. GP’s will indicate that sick individuals are either totally ‘unfit for work’ or “may be fit for some work” (with the GP’s advice). They will not have an option to state you are fit for work. 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.
In January 2009 the European Court of Justice ruled that Employees are entitled to accrue statutory minimum holiday entitlement while on sick leave and can carry that leave over into another year if they are too ill to take it and/or prefer not to take it during their sick leave (and/or be paid in lieu for any leave they are unable to take if their employment is terminated).
Check your contract first - many employers will offer a certain number of sick days on full pay.
The standard rate of SSP is £79.15 per week from 6th April 2009 (and did not rise in April 2010).
There are no age limits to receiving SSP.
SSP is paid for a maximum of 28 weeks and when it ends (or if you cannot get it) you may be able to claim Incapacity Benefit from your local Job Centre; your employer needs to give you a form SSP1 which they complete and you send to your local Job Centre.
Many employers may offer more generous payments to Employees if they are off sick, under their own schemes.
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 below
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.


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