Company Sick Pay

Different types of sick pay

As an employee taking time off work due to illness, you may be entitled to sick pay. There are two standard forms of sick pay:

  • Statutory Sick Pay - the minimum amount that you are legally entitled to
  • company sick pay (also known as occupational or contractual sick pay)

Statutory Sick Pay

An employee is eligible to be paid Statutory Sick Pay by their employer if they are working under a contract of employment, have been sick for 4 or more consecutive days and have average weekly earnings not less than the Lower Earnings Limit of £109 per week. The rate of Statutory Sick Pay is currently £86.70 per week for a maximum of 28 weeks in any period of sickness.

Company sick pay schemes

As the name would suggest, company sick pay schemes are specific and unique to each workplace, and differ from scheme to scheme. A standard minimum service is three months before an employee is entitled to receive pay from a company sick pay scheme. Ordinarily you will receive full pay during a period of absence due to illness, up to a set number of weeks. Following this, employers may choose to award half-pay for a further period, after which an employee will often only be entitled to any balance of the 28 week Statutory Sick Pay entitlement.

Work-related sickness

Your employer may have a special scheme in place for injuries or illnesses received in the workplace; the amount of pay is not ordinarily related to the type of sickness or injury.

In the event that your employer is responsible for your incapacity, you may be eligible to bring a personal injury claim against your workplace. Both physical and psychological injuries are claimable, including stress and depression. For further information regarding this, consult a solicitor or trade union representative.

Time off to care for a sick dependant

Employees have the statutory right to take a reasonable amount of unpaid time off work to take care of or make provisions for the care of a dependant. Unless stated in your contract, your employer does not have to pay you for this time.

Problems receiving your sick pay

If you feel that you have not received, or are not receiving, the correct amount of sick pay, you should:

  • check the amount stated on your contract
  • investigate your Statutory Sick Pay rights
  • enquire as to whether there has been a problem paying your sick pay
  • in the case of a grievance over the terms of your company sick pay, it is wise to firstly attempt to resolve the problem directly with your employer

If you are not paid sick pay to which you are entitled to by virtue of statute and/or contract this might constitute a breach of contract and/or an unauthorised deduction of wages. In this event you may be able to take your claim to an Employment Tribunal or to the County Court. 

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