Do I Qualify for SSP (Statutory Sick Pay)?

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By Crispin O'Toole-Bateman

on Thursday 5 September 2019

Stethoscope on top of calculator and claim forms

What is Statutory Sick Pay (SSP)?

Statutory sick pay is the government-backed scheme to ensure that all employees get some sort of income if they fall ill while at work.

It’s not a huge amount and insurance products like income protection are a far better way of making sure you can find the money to cover your mortgage and bills if you’re unable to go to work because you are injured or ill, but it’s a valuable addition for many people.

How much is Statutory Sick Pay?

If you’re in full-time employment, statutory sick pay is £92.05 per week, for 28 weeks.

In truth, the SSP rate isn’t going to give you enough money that pulling a six-month long Netflix binge by calling in every day with a funny voice is worthwhile, but if you are genuinely laid up, it’s a lot better than the alternative: £0 – which is what self-employed people get!

Do I qualify for Statutory Sick Pay?

The criteria are…

  • That you have started your job (no SSP between a contract signing date and the first day at work!)
  • That you are not self-employed (as mentioned above there’s no statutory sick pay for self-employed people)
  • That you earn at least £118 per week (on average, and before tax)
  • That you have been sick for four full days or more (you can’t use SSP to pull that Netflix day-off for even one day!)
  • That you follow your employer’s rules for sick pay (which may be as simple as calling in and letting them know you’re not well, but make sure you ask if you need to do anything else, like sending an official email)
  • That you have not or are not:
    • Already claimed SSP for the full 28 weeks within the last 8 weeks
    • Had ESA (Employment and Support Allowance) in the last 12 weeks
    • In receipt of SMP (Statutory Maternity Pay) or Maternity Allowance
    • Pregnant, with a due date within 4 weeks and suffering from a condition related to your pregnancy
    • Had a baby within the last 14 weeks (up to 18 weeks for premature babies, to mark 14 weeks from your original due date)
    • In the armed forces
    • An agricultural worker
    • In legal custody (in prison or detailed by the police)

Tell me more about income protection insurance (IP)!

Unless your employer has a separate (and comprehensive) company sick pay scheme, IP is your best way to protect your finances from being devastated by illness.

Watching your savings diminish at the same time as suffering an illness adds insult to injury, and if you don’t have savings, it’s considerably worse. Plus, what happens when your statutory sick pay ends? You may get some other benefits but you’ll probably find yourself returning to work instead.

At Unite Life, we recommend income protection – it’s an insurance product that will pay 65% of your gross salary (before tax) straight into your bank account every month when you are sick.

That’s almost a full salary (once the tax is taken into account) and is bound to be enough to cover any essentials.

Income protection is essential for the self-employed, but it’s also a great security for everyone else, even if you are entitled to statutory sick pay. It’s even better than if you could claim SSP from two jobs (no, you can’t). It’ll even give you the peace of mind to watch Netflix without guilt as you relax and heal.

Give us at Unite Life a call today or fill out our contact form for more information.

08000 106 194

Unite Life can help you save on insurance – get in touch with us today!

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