If you are off work with a long-term illness or have suffered an accident that has left you with a brain injury or other serious health condition, you may be entitled to Statutory Sick Pay (SSP). When claiming SSP, you are entitled to up to £92.05 per week. SSP is paid to you directly by your employer in the same way your wages are paid to you.
You cannot receive less than the set amount for SSP per week and will receive payment for any days you would normally work, referred to as ‘qualifying days’. An employer can use the SSP calculator to work out how much SSP to pay their employee. However, you may be paid more dependent on your employer (for instance if they have their own sick pay scheme or occupational scheme). This will be set out in your contract. If you do not have a contract, or it does not specify the terms of sick leave, you can ask your employer for this or check the company handbook or intranet.
You are still required to pay Tax and National Insurance contributions when receiving SSP. These will be deducted in the same way as your usual wages.
Do I qualify for Statutory Sick Pay (SSP)?
To receive SSP from your employer, you must:
- Be an employee and have done some work for your employer.
- Have felt unwell for at least four consecutive days (including non-working days).
- Have an average salary of at least £116 per week (before tax).
- Advise your employer of your illness before their deadline or within seven days where no deadline is specified.
You can provide notice of your illness by writing to your employer or providing a doctor’s certificate (fit note or sick note). You will only need to provide a fit note to your employer if you are absent from work for more than seven days in a row (including non-working days).
You can still qualify for SSP if you are an agency or casual worker, or if you only work part-time or are on a fixed-term contract. People on zero hour contracts can also receive SSP. You should ask your employer for this.
There are no age rules for receiving SSP and it is a non-means tested benefit.
What sick pay will I receive?
You will receive SSP for any days you would have normally been in work. It is paid from the fourth day you have taken off as sick leave. You are not eligible for SSP for the first three days you are off unless you have received SSP in the last eight weeks and are eligible for it again (if these periods of sickness are linked).
Linked periods of sickness will qualify for SSP if each period of sickness lasts at least four days or more and are within eight weeks of each other. SSP will no longer be received if these periods of linked sickness last longer than three years.
You will also not be eligible for SSP if you have received the maximum amount (28 weeks), or you are already receiving Statutory Maternity Pay.
What do I do if my employer won’t pay Statutory Sick Pay (SSP)?
If your employer is refusing to pay SSP or if you do not think you are receiving the correct level of SSP from your employer, you should contact the HM Revenue and Customs (HMRC) statutory payment dispute team.
HMRC statutory payment dispute team
Telephone: 03000 560 630
Opening times: Monday to Thursday, 8:30 am to 5 pm. Friday, 8:30 am to 4:30 pm
Textphone users should contact HMRC employees’ enquiry line.
HMRC employees’ enquiry line
Textphone: 0300 200 3212
Opening times: Monday to Friday, 8 am to 5 pm
You should have the following information to hand when calling the HMRC:
- Your name, address and National Insurance number.
- Your employer’s details (including name and contact details).
- Your payroll number.
- Any dates you have been off sick and your employer’s response to your request for SSP.
You can also speak to your local Citizens Advice Bureau for further help and assistance with claiming Statutory Sick Pay and issues with your employer.
What do I do if I am not eligible for Statutory Sick Pay (SSP)?
If you are not eligible for SSP, or your SSP is due to stop, you may be able to claim Employment and Support Allowance (ESA). You may be entitled to ESA to help provide financial support if you are ill or disabled and unable to work.
Other options for immediate financial support
If you have sustained a brain injury in an accident that wasn’t your fault, you may also be able to make a claim for compensation. Making a claim for compensation can help you with your immediate money concerns, as well as assist with any other worries you and your family may have.
The claims process allows for interim payments to be paid to people to help cover such things as outstanding rent, mortgage payments and bills, and help people financially whilst their claim is ongoing. In addition to this, CFG Law can allocate a sum of money to clients from day one, to provide help and support and alleviate any struggles injured people and their family may be experiencing.
When choosing a brain injury solicitor, it is important to choose a solicitor with experience in dealing with these complex claims and who has a track record of helping people in your situation. Claiming compensation is not just about compensating you for the injuries you have sustained, but also for any loss of earnings or expenses you have incurred as a result of your injuries and the treatment and support you need now and in the future to make the best possible recovery.
From our experience in helping people after a brain injury, we have put together this essential guide to solving immediate money concerns following a brain injury.