The statutory sick pay (SSP) scheme provides employees who are absent from work for a minimum level of income in place of wages. Employers can instead choose to pay occupational sick pay as long as this is at least equal to the SSP that the employee would receive.

The NHS offers an occupational sick pay scheme in preference to statutory sick pay, which exceeds SSP rates according to length of service. If an employee’s entitlement to occupational sick pay ceases when they are still sick, statutory sick pay rules will continue to apply.

This topic explains the qualifying conditions for SSP and the workers that are not covered by SSP, when to withhold payment and when to stop paying it and the recovery of SSP.

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