Sick Pay Calculation

There are two types of sick pay that an employer may pay:

  • Statutory Sick Pay (SSP)
  • Occupational Sick Pay (OSP)

SSP is the statutory minimum, which employers must pay if an employee is unable to work due to sickness.

Occupational Sick Pay (OSP) may be paid in addition to SSP.  OSP normally makes SSP up to full pay. The contract of employment should state whether or not OSP is payable, and if so, for how long.

It is usual to calculate OSP over a “rolling year”, that is to consider absence in the 12 months immediately preceding the absence. The employer should also be clear how an employee would re-qualify for OSP if their entitlement expires.

Employing bodies should take care to apply “discretion” consistently in order to avoid a complaint of discrimination.

Statutory Sick Pay

Before an employee is eligible for SSP, they must be unable to work for four consecutive calendar days. This applies to full time and part time employees.  Other qualifying conditions must also be satisfied. 

SSP should be paid only for qualifying days i.e. the days of the week on which the employee is required by their contract to be available for work. These are the only days for which SSP can be paid and are also the only days which count as waiting days.

An employee may receive up to 28 weeks SSP, after which time the entitlement expires. The Government sets the weekly rate of pay for SSP annually. 

The amount of SSP paid is calculated by dividing the weekly rate of SSP by the number of qualifying days in a week.

Current SSP rates and guidance how to calculate sick pay are available from: https://www.gov.uk/calculate-statutory-sick-pay