Sickness absence

Generally, if you are employed in the UK you are entitled to statutory sick pay when unable to work due to incapacity. You should tell your employer as soon as possible that you will not able to attend work. Your employer may request a “return to work” interview when you go back to work. You are still entitled to sick leave if you are on holiday.

If you earn over £109 per week and are incapable of working for more than four days in a row, you are entitled to Statutory Sick Pay (SSP) of £86.70 per week from the fourth working day on which you are unable to attend work. This is the minimum legal amount your employer must pay you for up to 28 weeks of sick leave.

After this time, you may be entitled to Employment and Support Allowance (ESA) if your employer stops paying SSP.

You are not entitled to SSP for the first three working days of your sick leave, but you will receive SSP from the fourth day onwards until you return to work. You may also be entitled to other state benefits such as housing benefit.

Many employers pay levels of sick pay which are enhanced and more generous than the statutory minimum. For more details, read your employer’s sickness absence policy.

Whilst off sick, or after your return to work, you are likely to be called to a meeting with your manager to discuss your health and your absence. UNISON members are entitled to a UNISON representative or officer to support them in such meetings.

For advice, contact your Rep or the Branch office.