Statutory Sick Pay and Statutory Maternity Pay
Statutory Sick Pay
The same weekly Statutory Sick Pay rate applies to all employees. However, the amount you must actually pay an employee for each day they're off work due to illness (the daily rate) depends on the number of 'qualifying days' they work each week.
SSP eligibility and rates: an overview
As an employer you're responsible for operating the SSP scheme, which includes making payments to employees who meet certain qualifying conditions. The weekly rate of SSP for days of sickness is £94.25
You must put your sickness policy in a written statement of employment particulars and give a copy to all employees who have worked for you for at least a month.
If you keep paying your employees their normal wage when they're sick - and you pay them at least as much as the SSP they are entitled to - you don't have to operate the SSP scheme.
The following conditions must be met in order for an employee to receive SSP:
- the employee will need to have done some work under their employment contract before going off sick
- the days they're off sick must make up part of a 'period of incapacity for work' (PIW) - explained below
- days for which the employee receives SSP must be qualifying days - these are days they normally work
- earnings must be at least £118(before tax) per week
- the employee cannot have already received the maximum amount of SSP for the PIW - or for a series of linked PIWs (28 weeks)
- the employee must have notified you about their sickness - either within your own time limit or within seven days, the employee must give you evidence of their incapacity, if you require it.
Statutory Maternity Pay eligibility and rates
An employee who is expecting a baby has the right to 26 weeks of 'Ordinary Maternity Leave' and 26 weeks 'Additional Maternity Leave' - making one year in total. As long as they give you proper notice they can take this no matter how long they've worked for you, how many hours they work or how much they're paid.
Whether you have to pay SMP to an expectant employee depends on how long they've worked for you and how much they earn. They'll have to provide you with evidence of when the baby's due and give you notice of when they want you to start paying their SMP.
SMP for eligible employees can be paid for up to 39 weeks, usually as follows:
- the first 6 weeks: 90% of their average weekly earnings (AWE) before tax
- the remaining 33 weeks: £148.68 or 90% of their AWE (which ever is lower)
Tax and national insurance need to be deducted.
For an employee to be considered eligible for SMP, they must have:
- give you the correct notice
- give you proof they’re pregnant
- have worked for your employer continuously for at least 26 weeks continuing into the ‘qualifying week’ - the 15th week before the expected week of childbirth
- have worked for you continuously for at least 26 weeks up to any day in the qualifying week
- earn at least £118 a week (gross) in an 8-week ‘relevant period'