Simply Business homepage
  • Business insurance

    • Business Insurance FAQs

    Business insurance covers

  • Support
  • Claims
  • Sign In
Call Us0333 0146 683
Chat With UsChat support 24/7

Statutory Sick Pay: what is the SSP rate?

4-minute read

Doctor giving patient a sick note
Sam Bromley

Sam Bromley

27 January 2023

Share on FacebookShare on TwitterShare on LinkedIn

Your employees are entitled to Statutory Sick Pay (SSP) if they take time off due to illness. But how much is SSP? Find out more about the SSP rate and your responsibilities when staff are off sick.

What is Statutory Sick Pay (SSP)?

An employee may be eligible for Statutory Sick Pay if they’re ill and can’t work. They need to have been off work for four or more days in a row (including non-working days).

The first three days are called ‘waiting days’ and you start paying SSP from the fourth ‘qualifying day’ (the day your employee is usually needed to work).

A day doesn’t count as a sick day if they've worked for more than a minute before they’ve gone home ill.

It’s important to note that employees are entitled to statutory annual leave while they’re off sick and they can take holiday while they’re on sick leave (no matter how long they’re off).

Meanwhile, you can’t force employees to take annual leave if they’re eligible for sick leave.

Employer sick pay schemes

The SSP rate is the legal minimum employers can pay staff when they’re sick. However, you might have your own sick pay scheme, which lets you offer more than the standard SSP rate.

If you have one, you should write it into your employees’ contracts and staff handbook (schemes like this are known as ‘contractual’ or ‘occupational’ sick pay).

You should also record accurate details of your employee’s absence and their sick pay payments.

Get small business guides and news straight to your inbox

Your email address will be used by Simply Business so that we can send you the latest guides, offers and tips. You can unsubscribe from these emails at any time. For more information, check out the Simply Business privacy policy.

How much is Statutory Sick Pay?

You use the weekly SSP rate to calculate how much SSP to pay your employees.

SSP rate in the UK

On 6 April 2022, the SSP rate increased from £96.35 a week to £99.35 a week.

From 6 April 2023, the SSP rate will rise to £109.40 a week.

The SSP rate is for up to 28 weeks of sick leave.

You can use a daily SSP rate if your employee isn’t off work for the whole week. The daily SSP rate depends on how many qualifying days your employee usually works and how many days they’re off sick.

You can see the daily SSP rate at

SSP calculator has a Statutory Sick Pay calculator you can use to work out how much to pay your employees who are off sick.

Employers pay SSP in the same way they pay monthly wages – on the normal payday, including tax and National Insurance deductions.

Do I qualify for Statutory Sick Pay? says that to qualify for SSP your employee should:

  • have worked under the contract
  • have been ill for four or more days in a row, including non-working days
  • earn £123 a week on average (known as the lower earnings limit)
  • give you notice of their illness
  • give you proof of their illness after they’ve had seven days off

Acas (the Advisory, Conciliation and Arbitration Service) says that agency, casual and zero-hour employees can get SSP if they meet the eligibility criteria.

As an employer, you can set a limit in which employees have to tell you they’re sick. If you don’t have one, it’s automatically set at seven days.

If the employee is late telling you they’re sick without good reason, you don’t have to pay SSP. For example if your limit is six days and the employee gives notice of their sickness after nine days, then you won’t need to pay them SSP for the three days over the limit.

Proof of illness: what is a fit note?

Employers can ask for a fit note, commonly known as a sick note, if their employee is off work for more than seven days in a row (including non-working days).

A fit note must be issued by a healthcare professional, such as a:

  • GP or hospital doctor
  • pharmacist
  • registered nurse
  • physiotherapist
  • occupational therapist

What are the exceptions for receiving SSP?

There are some exceptions that could mean your employee isn’t eligible for sick pay. These include employees who’ve already had the maximum 28 weeks of SSP and employees who are getting Statutory Maternity Pay (there are different rules in this situation).

Other reasons employees may not be eligible for sick pay include:

  • if they’re off work for a pregnancy-related illness in the four weeks before the week (Sunday to Saturday) that their baby is due
  • if they received Employment and Support Allowance within 12 weeks of starting or returning to work for you
  • if they’re working outside the EU and you’re not required to pay their National Insurance contributions
  • if they were on strike or in custody on the first day of sickness

Employees could also have ‘linked’ periods of sickness if they’re ill regularly. Linked periods mean that SSP entitlement is used up gradually. These linked periods must last four or more days each and be eight weeks or less apart – so, if someone is off for four weeks and is ill again within 56 days of going back to work, they’ll have 24 weeks of SSP left.

But if a series of linked periods lasts more than three years, employees aren’t eligible for SSP.

Read more about SSP eligibility and the exceptions at

Statutory Sick Pay form SSP1

If your employee isn’t eligible for SSP or their SSP is ending, they might be able to claim other other benefits like Universal Credit and Employment and Support Allowance (ESA). You need to send these employees form SSP1 so they can claim these benefits.

For employees who aren’t entitled to SSP, you have to send them SSP1 within seven days of them taking time off sick.

If an employee is receiving SSP but their situation changes and they no longer qualify, you have to send them SSP1 within seven days of their sick pay ending. If their SSP is going to end before their illness does, you have to send them SSP1 on or before the beginning of the 23rd week of sick pay.

Ready to set up your cover?

As one of the UK's biggest business insurance providers, we specialise in public liability insurance and protect more trades than anybody else. Why not take a look now and build a quick, tailored quote?

Start your quote
Sam Bromley

Written by

Sam Bromley

Sam has more than 10 years of experience in writing for financial services. He specialises in illuminating complicated topics, from IR35 to ISAs, and identifying emerging trends that audiences want to know about. Sam spent five years at Simply Business, where he was Senior Copywriter.

We create this content for general information purposes and it should not be taken as advice. Always take professional advice. Read our full disclaimer

Find this article useful? Spread the word.

Share on Facebook
Share on Twitter
Share on LinkedIn

Keep up to date with Simply Business. Subscribe to our monthly newsletter and follow us on social media.

Subscribe to our newsletter


HomePopular articlesGeneral businessGuestInsuranceLandlordLandlord resourcesLegal and financeMarketingNewsOpinionProperty maintenanceTradesmanCovid-19 business support hub


Public liability insuranceBusiness insuranceProfessional indemnity insuranceEmployers’ liability insuranceLandlord insuranceTradesman insuranceSelf-employed insuranceRestaurant insuranceVan insuranceInsurers


About usOur teamAwardsPress releasesPartners & affiliatesOur charitable workModern Slavery ActSection 172 statementSocial mediaSite map

Customer support

Contact & supportPolicy renewalMake a claimProof of policyComplaintsAccessibility


6th Floor99 Gresham StreetLondonEC2V 7NG

Northampton 900900 Pavilion DriveNorthamptonNN4 7RG


Careers at Simply BusinessTech careersCurrent opportunities


BenefitsRefer a friend


Terms & conditionsPrivacy policyCookie policyVuln Disclosure policy


Knowledge centreOpinionsMicrosites

© Copyright 2024 Simply Business. All Rights Reserved. Simply Business is a trading name of Xbridge Limited which is authorised and regulated by the Financial Conduct Authority (Financial Services Registration No: 313348). Xbridge Limited (No: 3967717) has its registered office at 6th Floor, 99 Gresham Street, London, EC2V 7NG.