Your Payroll Questions Answered - Statutory Sick Pay in Uncommon Circumstances

Peninsula Team

September 17 2013

In this issue, we take a look at the interaction of Statutory Sick Pay (SSP) with some rare employee circumstances. How does SSP interact with an employee in police custody? If your employee, at any time on the first day of his/her ‘Period of Incapacity for Work’ (PIW) is in legal custody, he/she is not entitled to any payment of Statutory Sick Pay for the whole of that PIW.  A PIW is a period of time during which the employee is sick for a period of four days or more (these days do not have to be working days).  So, if your employee is in legal custody at any time on the first day of his/her illness, and this illness lasts for 4 days or more (the fourth day being the point where SSP would normally commence), your employee would receive no SSP for the entirety of that PIW. If your employee is taken into legal custody during a PIW and the employee is already in receipt of SSP, your obligation to pay SSP will stop from the time the custody begins and the employee will receive no more SSP for the rest of that PIW. And what about if he is on strike? If your employee becomes sick during a strike, he is not entitled to receive SSP unless he can show that:
  • he has no direct involvement in the dispute; and
  • he did not take part in it at any time up to and including the first day of sickness.
If your employee is already off sick when the strike begins, again he will only be able to continue receiving SSP as long as he can meet the above two requirements regarding involvement in the dispute. And if an employee has two contracts of employment with one employer? Where the employee’s contracts are with the same employer (or with two “associated employers”), and their earnings are aggregated for NI contributions purposes, SSP would only be payable if the sickness/injury rendered the employee incapable of performing the duties under both contracts.  If the employee continues to work under one contract, no SSP would be payable under the other contract. If the contracts are with two separate employers, the employee could be entitled to SSP from the employer for whom the sickness/injury prevents the employee from working, whilst continuing work for the other employer. Clients can reach this service by dialling 0844 892 2772, and choosing Option 3. This service is available from Monday – Friday between 9am and 6pm.

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