Eligibility for Statutory Sick Pay

Sick Leave | HR SolutionsYou can get £94.25 per week Statutory Sick Pay (SSP) if you’re too ill to work. It’s paid by your employer for up to 28 weeks.

You need to qualify for SSP and have been off work sick for 4 or more days in a row (including non-working days).

You cannot get less than the statutory amount. You can get more if your company has a sick pay scheme (or ‘occupational scheme’) – check your employment contract.

Eligibility

To qualify for Statutory Sick Pay (SSP) you must:

  • be classed as an employee and have done some work for your employer
  • have been ill for at least 4 days in a row (including non-working days)
  • earn an average of at least £118 per week
  • tell your employer you’re sick before their deadline – or within 7 days if they do not have one

Agency workers are entitled to Statutory Sick Pay.

Exceptions

You will not qualify if you:

  • have received the maximum amount of SSP (28 weeks)
  • are getting Statutory Maternity Pay

You can still qualify if you started your job recently and you have not received 8 weeks’ pay yet. Ask your employer to find out more.

Linked periods of sickness

If you have regular periods of sickness, they may count as ‘linked’. To be linked, the periods must:

  • last 4 or more days each
  • be 8 weeks or less apart

You’re no longer eligible for SSP if you have a continuous series of linked periods that lasts more than 3 years.

Fit notes (or sick notes)

You only have to give your employer a fit note if you’re off sick for more than 7 days in a row (including non-working days).

You can get a fit note from your GP or hospital doctor. If your employer agrees, a similar document can be provided by a physiotherapist, podiatrist or occupational therapist instead. This is called an Allied Health Professional (AHP) Health and Work Report.

If you’re not eligible or your SSP ends

You may be able to apply for Universal Credit or Employment and Support Allowance (ESA). You can use form SSP1 to support your application.

If your SSP is ending your employer must send you form SSP1 either:

  • within 7 days of your SSP ending, if it ends unexpectedly while you’re still sick
  • on or before the beginning of the 23rd week, if your SSP is expected to end before your sickness does

If you do not qualify for SSP your employer must send you form SSP1 within 7 days of you going off sick.

Employers can find Form SSP1 here

Disagreements and Disputes in Charities

conflict resolutionWhy internal disputes are a problem

Charity trustees, staff and members can sometimes disagree with each other over decisions about the charity.

A serious disagreement within a charity may cause the charity problems and damage its reputation.

It is your responsibility as trustees to try to resolve a disagreement or dispute. The Charity Commission can only get involved in exceptional circumstances.

How to resolve a dispute yourself

Your charity’s governing document may include a ‘disputes clause’ with procedures for dealing with a dispute. Even if it doesn’t, you should do everything you can to reach an agreement yourselves.

When to get external help

Charity trustees and members need to work together to settle any differences they have. If your trustees can’t reach an agreement and follow the directions in your governing document, you may need to look for some independent external help.

An independent third party will look at both sides and come up with some fresh ways to resolve the dispute.

If the dispute is about the way your charity is run, you could:

  • approach the charity’s national or umbrella body, if it has one
  • contact an organisation like the Advisory, Conciliation and Arbitration Service “ACAS”
  • ask a local church leader or community elder for help, if it is a religious dispute

Mediation

Mediation is a more formal way to settle disputes. It is a private and confidential process in which an independent person meets with both sides, helping them to reach a solution that everyone finds acceptable.

Mediation can be quick and cost-effective. Through mediation, both sides must agree to any solution, so it is more likely to be a lasting agreement.

If your dispute is taken to court, you will be expected to have tried mediation first.

WHEN to involve the COMMISSION

The commission can only get involved in internal disputes when:

  • there are no trustees (or correctly appointed trustees) in place, and
  • you can show that all attempts to resolve the dispute have failed

When the commission won’t get involved

The commission will not get involved if your dispute is about trustees’ decisions or policies. Trustees are free to make decisions for their charity, so long as they are acting within the law and within the rules of the charity’s governing document.

More detailed information can be found here

Statutory Maternity Pay and Pay Rises

Statutory Maternity Pay and LeaveEmployee earnings affected by a pay rise

A pay rise must not be withheld because of maternity leave.

You must recalculate the average weekly earnings (AWE) to take account of pay rises awarded, or that would have been awarded had your employee not been on maternity leave.

This applies if the pay rise was effective from anytime between the start of the 8 week relevant period for Statutory Maternity Pay (SMP) and the end of the statutory maternity leave.

If a pay rise is awarded after you’ve calculated your employee’s earnings, and that pay rise is effective from the start date of the relevant period but before the Maternity Pay Period (MPP) ends, you must:

  • recalculate the AWE to include the pay rise as though it was effective from the beginning of the relevant period
  • pay any extra SMP due

If a pay rise is awarded which, when recalculated, means that earnings are now high enough for your employee to get SMP when they could not before, you must:

  1. Work out 90% of the AWE.
  2. Take away the standard rate of SMP.
  3. Pay the difference for 6 weeks.

If 90% of the AWE is less than the standard rate you might not have to pay your employee anything.

This is because they may have received the balance of SMP due from Jobcentre Plus (or the Jobs and Benefits office in Northern Ireland) as Maternity Allowance (MA).

Not all women are entitled to MA, or the MA may be less than the SMP your employee is now entitled to. You should ask them to get a letter from the Jobcentre Plus (or the Jobs and Benefits office in Northern Ireland) to confirm how much MA was received.

If your employee gives you a letter from the Jobcentre Plus office (or the Jobs and Benefits office in Northern Ireland) showing how much MA was received:

  1. Work out the total amount of SMP they’re entitled to.
  2. Take away the MA that was paid.
  3. Take away any SMP you’ve already paid.
  4. Pay your employee the difference.

Your employee should still benefit from a pay rise, even if they do not intend to return to work with you after their maternity leave has ended.

If a pay award is made after they have terminated their employment and the pay rise is backdated to when they were working for you, or were on maternity leave with you, they may be entitled to benefit from the pay rise. You must check the terms of their old contract of employment.

If more than one pay rise has been awarded during the period they were on maternity leave you’ll need to make separate calculations for each one.

Further details can be found here

PAYE Form P60 for your employees

Form P60 pictureIf you employ staff, you must give all employees a P60 at the end of each tax year, if they are working for you on 5 April.  This must provide this by 31 May, on paper or electronically.  You can either:

You can’t download blank P45 and P60 forms.

Contact HMRC if you have problems ordering online, your order hasn’t arrived in 7 working days, or to order by telephone 0300 123 1074.

A P60 shows an employee the tax that has been paid on their salary during the tax year (6 April – 5 April).  They will get a separate P60 for each of their jobs.

They need this P60 to prove how much tax they have paid on their salary, for example:

  • to claim back overpaid tax
  • to apply for tax credits
  • as proof of their income if they apply for a loan or a mortgage

They can check how much tax they paid last year if they think they might have paid too much (https://www.gov.uk/check-income-tax-last-year)