Statutory sick pay to rise by £3 a week

From today, statutory sick pay (SSP) for UK workers is set to rise by £3 a week, meaning they are now entitled to a minimum of £99.35, up from £96.35 previously.

Although the weekly minimum amount workers can now receive is £99.35, employers can offer their staff a higher amount.

In order to qualify for statutory sick pay, workers must earn at least £123 per week on average and have been ill for at least four days in a row, including non-working days.

If eligible for SSP, employees will be paid for the days they are off sick that they normally would have worked, except for the first three. SSP will be paid for up to 28 weeks.

However, workers will only receive statutory sick pay for the first three working days they are off ill if either the period they were away from work started before the 25th of March 2022 and they were off work because of coronavirus or they received SSP within the last eight weeks and that already included a three-day waiting period before they received statutory sick pay.

As Covid-related restrictions have now been scrapped, the rule which said employees testing positive for Covid could get SSP from day one has also been scrapped, meaning workers will have to wait until day four until they qualify for statutory sick pay.

Industry reaction

Noelle Murphy, Senior HR Practice Editor at XpertHR, offered comments on the statutory increase to sick pay: “From today, statutory sick pay will rise to £99.35 a week, up from £96.35. Though it is, of course, a welcomed increase for employees, this still equates to an hourly rate of just £2.83 for a standard 35-hour week. With the rate of inflation standing a 6.2%, energy bills increasing and car fuel also rising sharply, the rate of statutory sick pay falls well short of supporting an individual who cannot work due to sickness.

“Where sick pay is not enhanced by employers, employees will be under enormous pressure to work. With the return to the workplace well underway, employees who attend the office while unwell will jeopardise not only their own well-being but also the well-being of their colleagues.

“Alongside this, of course, with the Coronavirus Statutory Sick Pay Rebate Scheme now closed as of 24th March, it puts pressure on employers to cover statutory sick pay for employees in a time when sickness absence for reasons due to Covid continue to be very prevalent.”