Who’s going to pay me? Part 1

By Reza, Nov 2020

Sick Pay

Do you know what financial support you get, when you can’t work? With all the different options and the constant changes to them, you’d be forgiven for not having a clue. I don’t think anyone really does.

This blog post is part of a series that tries to outline all the available options you have when you can’t work, starting from your employer.


You are entitled to Sick Pay …

The good news is that your employer is legally required to pay you sick pay, if you earn an average of at least £120 per week. This is called Statutory Sick Pay or SSP.[1]


But it may not be enough …

The not so good news is that the SSP may not be enough for most people. SSP is currently £95.85 per week and it is paid from the 4th day you are off work, for up to 28 weeks.

Given the average rent is £987[2] in the UK, the SSP will not even pay the rent for the majority of people. Nevertheless, it provides some support, which is better than nothing.


Some employers are more generous than others …

Employers can choose to provide sick pay over the SSP level, this is called Employer Sick Pay. Employer Sick Pay is also paid to you by your employer but unlike SSP, it is optional and discretionary.

The amount you receive and for how long depends on the generosity of your employer. It could also depend on your role, salary, and how long you’ve with your employer.


No love for self-employed …

As their names may suggest, SSP and Employer Sick Pay are only available to employed workers. If you are self-employed, you won’t receive any of these. 


Nothing is certain …

SSP and Employer Sick Pay are not certain to exist when you need them.

Your employer can change or remove its sick pay, or you might change jobs. The government could decide to remove or change the SSP level and eligibility criteria.

For this reason, it’s smart to have some safety net in the form of savings or insurance.    


Table 1 - Statutory Sick Pay at a glance


 Statutory Sick Pay




 From 4th day

 How much?


 How long?

 28 weeks




[1] https://www.gov.uk/statutory-sick-pay

[2] https://homelet.co.uk/homelet-rental-index