Statutory Sick Pay (SSP)

What is Statutory Sick Pay (SSP) ?


Statutory Sick Pay (SSP) is a financial provision for employees who are unable to work due to illness or injury. It ensures that these employees continue to receive an income during their period of incapacity.

Qualifying for SSP

To be eligible for SSP, employees typically must:

  • Absence Duration: Be absent from work for a certain period, often around four days.
  • Medical Evidence: Provide evidence of their illness or injury, such as a doctor's note.
  • Earnings Threshold: Earn above a specific threshold before their illness.

Payment for Statutory Sick Days

The amount paid during statutory sick leave varies based on several factors:

  • Enhanced SSP: This is above the statutory minimum, where employers provide additional sick days.
  • Flat Rate SSP: A fixed amount paid to employees on sick leave, irrespective of their normal pay rate.
  • Percentage SSP: This is a portion of the employee's regular pay rate paid during sick leave.

For example, in the UK, SSP is paid at a flat rate of £95.85 per week for up to 28 weeks, provided the employee earns at least £120 a week and has been ill for at least four days in a row.

Managing SSP for a Global Workforce

Handling SSP becomes complex for companies with employees in multiple countries, as each nation has its unique SSP regulations. This requires meticulous tracking of various international rules and an efficient payroll system to ensure compliance and avoid legal ramifications or penalties.

For example, a company with employees in both the US and Canada must manage the different SSP regulations of each country. In the US, there isn't a federal statutory requirement for sick pay, and it varies by state laws and company policies. However, in Canada, the system can involve a combination of Employment Insurance sickness benefits and employer-provided sick leave, often based on a percentage of the employee's salary. This scenario requires the company to adapt its payroll system to accommodate the distinct requirements of each country's sick pay regulations.