In the tax year 2016-17, all employees earning over £112 per week are entitled, as a minimum, to Statutory Sick Pay (usually abbreviated to SSP) during sick leave, whether referred to in their contract or not. An employee who earns less than this will only be entitled to sick pay if this is specified in their contract. PFN Payroll can advise on how this might be handled and some basic advice is given below.
The rules governing payment of SSP are bureaucratic and complex and the booklet produced by HM Revenue covering this is 44 pages long! However, PFN Payroll will deal with all SSP issues and calculations as part of its basic service.
However, in general terms, it is only payable from the fourth working day of absence and is then paid at a flat rate (in the tax year 2016-17) of £88.45 per week for up to 28 weeks with a daily rate calculated pro-rata.
Employers should note that from April 2014 the ability to reclaim any SSP has been abolished and employers will not be able to reclaim any SSP at all so the whole cost of this will fall on the employer.
The contract should specify if the employee will receive any sick pay in excess of SSP and it is quite usual for employers to specify that sick pay will be paid at normal rates for a short period in any period of absence.
Employers should remember to place a limit on any additional sick pay. e.g. a maximum of two weeks additional sick pay in any rolling 12 month period.