Sick leave entitlement

09 July 2019

As an employer, there’s a fine line to tread between “punishing employees for being sick” and being unduly lenient on those who fancy a day off now and again.

Fortunately there’s plenty of legislation to assist employees and employers alike in finding a happy medium. Paid sick leave kicks in on the fourth consecutive day of sickness, regardless of whether they are working days.

If the employee has been off sick within the previous eight weeks, however, sick pay might start immediately.

A “sick note” (or a fit note—doctor’s note) is only required after seven consecutive days of illness. Fit notes can be requested earlier, although some doctors may charge for this service.

The doctor can be a person’s GP or a relevant specialist in a hospital. The fit note is not necessarily an in or out choice—it can give details as to certain tasks that the employee can't perform, for example heavy lifting, while being otherwise employed normally.

Statutory Sick Pay is only payable to contracted employees and for days normally worked, up to a maximum of 28 weeks.

From 6th April 2020, the SSP rate is £95.85 per week so long as the employee earns £120 per week or more. Some companies offer occupational sick pay or contractual sick pay which is higher than SSP.

If the employee has yet to do any work for the employer, the employer is not obliged to pay for sick leave. Peninsula Business Services can provide advice and assistance on any aspect of sick leave entitlement. 

Call 0800 028 2420 for support, or to arrange a convenient time to get in touch with you. 

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