Even the most hard working, loyal workforce may occasionally go off sick, so you may need to pay statutory sick pay or SSP. This guide explains how you would go about this, but first let’s look at some of the terminology around SSP.
Period of incapacity for work (PIW):
In order for SSP to be paid a PIW needs to be formed. This is a period of sickness lasting 4 or more consecutive days, this includes non-working days, bank holidays and weekends.
If there are less than 4 days then no PIW has been formed, so no SSP is due.
Average Weekly Earnings (AWE):
An employee must have average weekly earnings of at least the Lower Earnings Limit (LEL) for National Insurance to qualify for SSP.
These are the days your employee normally works, they can be counted as waiting days and can be paid SSP.
When a PIW had been formed, the first 3 days are not payable, these are the ‘waiting days’, after this SSP is due. If the PIW is linked then the waiting days only apply to the first PIW.
Go into your open pay run and select the employee you wish to pay. Then choose Actions> Pay Statutory Leave
Select Statutory Sick Pay from the drop down list.
You will then be presented with the SSP screen:
The ‘from’ and ‘to’ dates default to the date range of your open pay run.
The waiting days will default to 3 but you can override this should you require.
The qualifying days default to Mon to Fri.
- You need to select the start and end date your employee was off sick by clicking the calendar buttons.
- Select the qualifying days your employee works, this can be done by ticking and unticking the days required.
- Then press ‘Calculate’.
In this example Ben was off from the 17th to the 23rd June and he normally works Mon - Fri.
Ben has been off for more than 4 days in a row so a period of incapacity for work (PIW) has been formed therefore SSP is due.
In order for Ben to be entitled to SSP he has to have earned a minimum of the lower earnings limit for National Insurance, know as the average weekly earnings (AWE).
As this is Ben’s first week off sick 3 waiting days have been deducted and he will be paid 2 days SSP.
By clicking ‘View Log’ it exposes the validations and calculations.
It shows the relevant period, these are the previous 8 weeks before sickness
- Earnings over that period
- The calculation to confirm the average weekly earnings (AWE)
- Confirmation that Ben qualifies for SSP
- The waiting days applied
- The qualifying days applied
Click ‘Apply’ to make the payment in the pay run.
Once applied it shows the waiting days and number of days SSP and the amount of SSP paid.
What it also shows is 5 days salary being deducted so Ben won’t get paid his normal wage and SSP at the same time.
Should Ben be off sick again for more than 4 consecutive days within a period of eight weeks or less his SSP will be linked. This means that Ben will not have 3 waiting days deducted.
So paying Ben SSP for a linked period it shows that no waiting days will be deducted and Ben has 5 qualifying days SSP.
This scenario will continue until a period of greater than 56 days without sick leave has occurred, at which point there will be no linked periods and the usual Waiting Days will be applied.
Employee Not Entitled to SSP:
You may have an employee that isn’t entitled to SSP, it could be that they have reached the maximum 28 weeks payable, or they don’t have sufficient earnings. In these cases you need to issue an SSP1 form.
If you tick ‘Choose not to pay SSP’ box it will then allow you to select a reason from the drop down list.
Once this has been applied in the pay run it will show that no SSP has been paid.
Once the pay run has been finalised if you then go into Employee Details > Leave Balances it will show below.
With a link to the SSP1 form.
* If you are transferring your payroll from another system and you have an employee currently off sick you can override the waiting days in the pay run to 0.
You also have the option to override the average weekly earnings in the pay run as well.
* If your employee has reached the cap of 28 weeks SSP you will be unable to pay any more SSP and will be given a warning in the ‘View Log’ area.
* You can utilise the Employee Details > Documents to store any sick certificates
* You can set up your employees qualifying days pattern in Employee Details > Pay run Defaults > Standard Work Week then click on ‘Advanced’ so you can edit the days your employee works.