Statutory Sick Pay (SSP) for employees who are self-isolating


SSP must be paid from the first day of absence if an employee is self-isolating.

Author: Katie Fitzjohn
Reading time: 2 minutes

This article is 1 year old.

Read our disclaimer keyboard_arrow_down

This website content is intended as a general guide to law as it applies to the motor trade. Lawgistics has taken every effort to ensure that the contents are as accurate and up to date as at the date of first publication.

The laws and opinions expressed within this website may be varied as the law develops. As such we cannot accept liability for or the consequence of, any change of law, or official guidelines since publication or any misuse of the information provided.

The opinions in this website are based upon the experience of the authors and it must be recognised that only the courts and recognised tribunals can interpret the law with authority.

Examples given within the website are based on the experience of the authors and centre upon issues that commonly give rise to disputes. Each situation in practice will be different and may comprise several points commented upon.

If you have any doubt about the correct legal position you should seek further legal advice from Lawgistics or a suitably qualified solicitor. We cannot accept liability for your failure to take professional advice where it should reasonably be sought by a prudent person.

All characters are fictitious and should not be taken as referring to any person living or dead.

Use of this website shall be considered acceptance of the terms of the disclaimer presented above.

We have recently had enquiries regarding Statutory Sick Pay (SSP) with particular interest relating to employees who are self-isolating. 

To qualify for SSP an employee must: 

  • Earn an average of at least £120 per week.
  • Have been off sick for at least 4 days in a row, except when it is for self-isolation or shielding.
  • Inform their employer that they are ill before the deadline set in their employment contract or sickness policy. 

Average earnings are calculated and based on the employee’s earnings in the 8 weeks prior to their sickness. The current rate of SSP is £95.85 per week and can be paid for up to 28 weeks in a year. 

SSP must be paid from the 4th day of sickness. The 3 preceding days are known as ‘waiting days’ and SSP is not payable during this time. However, SSP must be paid from the first day of absence if an employee is self-isolating because:

  • They have coronavirus.
  • They have coronavirus symptoms.
  • Someone in their household has coronavirus symptoms.
  • They’ve been advised to stay at home by their doctor because of an underlying health condition.
  • They’ve been told to self-isolate by a doctor or NHS 111.
  • They’ve been told to self-isolate by a government ‘test and trace’ service, because they’ve been in close contact with someone who tested positive (‘NHS Test and Trace’ in England, ‘Test and Protect’ in Scotland or ‘Test, trace, protect’ in Wales).

Employees will not be eligible for SSP if they are self-isolating after returning to the UK from holiday or business travel and cannot work from home unless the workplace policy states otherwise. 

Some employers may decide to operate an enhanced contractual sick pay scheme, for example, by paying the employee during the 3 waiting days or paying above the current SSP rate. Details of sick pay entitlement should be included in any employment contract and/or workplace policy. 

Lawgistics members can get advice from our Employment Law specialists.

Katie Fitzjohn

Legal Advisor

Read more by this author

Getting in touch

You can contact us via the form or you can call us on 01480 455500.