Understanding statutory sick pay

Statutory sick pay if your employee is off work because of coronavirus


COVID-19: Temporary change to fit notes and SSP

There is a temporary removal of the three-day waiting period for employees claiming statutory sick pay (SSP) as a result of COVID-19 only. If an employee needs to self-isolate for medical reasons to protect others they will be treated as being ill.

Employees do not need to go to a GP as there is a 28-day allowance for self-declaration. This is a temporary measure in place from 17 December 2021 until 26 January 2022. See further guidance on managing workplace absence and sickness.

If the employee cannot work while self-isolating because of coronavirus they could get SSP for every day they are in isolation, from day one. They must self-isolate for at least four days to be eligible.

Employee is off work because of coronavirus

You must pay an employee SSP if they are self-isolating because:

  • they or someone they live with has coronavirus symptoms or has tested positive for coronavirus
  • they’ve been notified by the Public Health Agency’s Contact Tracing Service that they’ve been in contact with someone with COVID-19
  • someone in their support bubble has COVID-19 symptoms or has tested positive for COVID-19
  • they’ve been advised by a doctor or healthcare professional to self-isolate before going into hospital for surgery

You must pay your employee from the first qualifying day they are off work ie a day the employee usually works on.

Statutory Sick Pay Rebate Scheme

From mid-January, the Statutory Sick Pay Rebate Scheme will be available for employers with fewer than 250 employees that have paid Statutory Sick Pay (SSP) to their employees for absences linked to coronavirus-related sickness or self-isolation to make claims.

Employers will receive repayments at the relevant standard rate of SSP that they paid to their current or former employees for any eligible periods of sickness starting on or after 21 December 2021.

For guidance on eligibility and how to make a claim, when it is available, see coronavirus: claim back statutory sick pay paid to your employees due to COVID-19.

Information for employees

See Statutory Sick Pay: employee guidance.