What happens if One of My Employees is Off Sick?

As an employer it is inevitable that at some point you will have an employee who is unable to work because of sickness.

When faced with this what should you do as an employer??

You employee can get £94.25 per week Statutory Sick Pay (SSP) if they are too ill to work and meet certain conditions in order to qualify for this. If they qualify it is paid by you the employer for up to 28 weeks.


You cannot pay less than the statutory amount.

What You Need to Pay

You must £94.25 a week Statutory Sick Pay (SSP) for up to 28 weeks.

The days your employee is off sick when your employee normally would have worked are called ‘qualifying days’. If your employee is eligible, they will get SSP for their qualifying days, except for the first 3. These are called ‘waiting days’.

You only need to pay get waiting days if your employee has already received SSP within the last 8 weeks, and that included a 3-day waiting period.

If your employee has more than one job you may get SSP from each employer.

How You Pay Your Employee

SSP is paid by your through your payroll and the employees will need to pay any tax and national insurance due.

Do My Employees Qualify?

To qualify for Statutory Sick Pay (SSP) your employee must:

  • be classed as an employeeand have done some work for you
  • have been ill for at least 4 days in a row (including non-working days)
  • earn an average of at least £118 per week
  • tell your they are sick before their deadline – or within 7 days if they do not have one

You employee will not qualify if you:

  • have received the maximum amount of SSP (28 weeks)
  • are getting Statutory Maternity Pay

Your employee can still qualify if they started their job recently and you have not paid them 8 weeks’ pay.

Linked periods of sickness

If your employee has   regular periods of sickness, they may count as ‘linked’. To be linked, the periods must:

  • last 4 or more days each
  • be 8 weeks or less apart

You’re no longer eligible to pay for SSP if your employee has had a continuous series of linked periods that lasts more than 3 years.

Fit notes (or sick notes)


Your employee will only have to give your employer a fit note they off sick for more than 7 days in a row (including non-working days).


If they are sick less than 7 days the can self-certify

If Your Employee is Not Eligible or Your SSP Ends


Your employee may be able to apply for Universal Credit or Employment and Support Allowance (ESA). They can use form SSP1 to support their application.

If their SSP is ending you as an employer must send you form SSP1 either:

  • within 7 days of your SSP ending, if it ends unexpectedly while they are still sick
  • on or before the beginning of the 23rd week, if their SSP is expected to end before their sickness does

If they do not qualify for SSP you as the employer must send you form SSP1 within 7 days of you going off sick.