When your employee is absent from work due to sickness you are required to administer Statutory Sick Pay. It is not paid for the first three consecutive working days of illness (not including weekends or days not normally worked). These three days are known as 'waiting days' and any payment of salary to the employee for these days is at the employer's discretion. On the fourth consecutive day Statutory Sick Pay is paid instead of, or as part of, the employee's normal rate of pay, for up to 28 weeks.
Who Can and Cannot Qualify
To qualify employees must have been ill for at least 4 days in a row, be earning at least the Lower Earnings Limit, and inform their employer of their illness within seven days or by their employer's deadline (if they have one stipulated in the Employment Contract).
Employees cannot qualify if they have received the maximum amount of Statutory Sick Pay (28 weeks), they have taken three years or more 'linked periods' of sickness – where four or more days of sickness happen within eight weeks of each other continually – or if they are receiving Statutory Maternity Pay.