United Kingdom Workers Rights

Statutory Sick Pay


You can get £87.55 per week Statutory Sick Pay (SSP) if you’re too ill to work. It’s paid by your employer for up to 28 weeks.

You need to qualify for SSP and have been off work sick for 4 or more days in a row (including non-working days).

You can’t get less than the statutory amount. You can get more if your company has a sick pay scheme (or ‘occupational scheme’) – check your employment contract.

What you’ll get

You can get £87.55 a week Statutory Sick Pay (SSP) for up to 28 weeks.

You get SSP for the days you would normally have worked. It’s not paid for the first 3 days you’re off, unless you’ve been paid SSP within the last 8 weeks and are eligible for it again.

If you have more than one job you may get SSP from each employer.

How you’re paid

SSP is paid by your employer in the same way as your normal wages (eg weekly or monthly).

Tax and National Insurance will be deducted.

If you don’t think you’re getting the right amount of SSP, talk to your employer. If you’re still not happy, contact the HM Revenue and Customs (HMRC) employees’ enquiry line.

HMRC employees’ enquiry line
Telephone: 0300 200 3500
Textphone: 0300 200 3519
Monday to Friday, 8am to 5pm


To qualify for Statutory Sick Pay (SSP) you must:

  • be classed as an employee and have done some work for your employer
  • have been ill for at least 4 days in a row (including non-working days)
  • earn at least £111 (before tax) per week
  • tell your employer you’re sick before their deadline – or within 7 days if they don’t have one

Agency workers are entitled to Statutory Sick Pay.


You won’t qualify if you:

  • have received the maximum amount of SSP (28 weeks)
  • have taken 3 years or more ‘linked periods’ of sickness – where 4 or more days of sickness happen within 8 weeks of each other
  • are getting Statutory Maternity Pay

You can still qualify if you started your job recently and you haven’t received 8 weeks’ pay yet. Ask your employer to find out more.

Fit notes (or sick notes)

You only have to give your employer a doctor’s fit note if you miss more than 7 days of work.

If you’re not eligible or your SSP ends

You may be able to apply for Employment and Support Allowance (ESA) if you’re not eligible for SSP or your SSP has ended or is coming to an end.

You do this using form SSP1, which your employer will give you:

  • within 7 days of you going off sick, if you don’t qualify for SSP
  • within 7 days of your SSP ending, if it ends unexpectedly while you are still sick
  • on or before the beginning of the 23rd week, if your SSP is expected to end before your sickness does

How to claim

To claim Statutory Sick Pay (SSP), tell your employer in writing (if they request it) and by their deadline (or within 7 days if they don’t have one).

You only need a doctor’s ‘fit note’ (or sick note) if you’re off sick for 7 days or more.

If you’re unhappy with a decision

Talk to your employer if you think:

  • their decision not to pay you SSP is wrong
  • you’re not getting the right amount of SSP

You can ask them for a reason. If this doesn’t sort the problem, contact the HM Revenue and Customs (HMRC) employees’ enquiry line.

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