Understanding statutory sick pay

Getting subsidies or relief for statutory sick pay


There is a temporary removal of the three-day waiting period for employees claiming statutory sick pay (SSP). If an employee needs to self-isolate for medical reasons to protect others they will be treated as being ill.

Employees do not need to go to a GP as there is a seven-day allowance for self-declaration.

If the employee cannot work while self-isolating because of coronavirus they could get SSP for every day they are in isolation, from day one. They must self-isolate for at least four days to be eligible.

See statutory sick pay if your employee is off work because of coronavirus.

You may be able to recover some of the statutory sick pay (SSP) you have paid out if you qualify under the Percentage Threshold Scheme (PTS). This helps employers who have a high percentage of their workforce off sick at any one time.

GOV.UK guidance on statutory sick pay.

The general principle of the PTS is that if, in a tax month, the total SSP you pay to all of your employees is more than 13 per cent of your total gross employer's plus employees' Class 1 National Insurance contributions (NICs) for the same tax month, you are entitled to a refund of the excess.

Reclaiming SSP

You can't reclaim SSP for sick leave that has been taken after 5 April 2014.

You may be able to reclaim SSP for a previous tax year if a high proportion of your employees were off sick at the same time. You can reclaim the difference if SSP was more than 13 per cent of your Class 1 National Insurance in a tax month.

From 6 April 2016, employers who have not claimed for any Percentage Threshold Scheme (PTS) due up until 5 April 2014 will not be able to claim for it.

How to reclaim

Calculate how much you'll get back using your payroll software.

How you reclaim the payments depends on how you reported payroll in the relevant tax year. If you were reporting payroll information in real time (RTI), include the amount you're reclaiming in an Employer Payment Summary (EPS). Otherwise, you should complete an SP32 form and return to HMRC. Reclaim statutory payments or National Insurance contributions (SP32).


SSP is included in gross pay, and PAYE and NICs operate as normal.

You will need a record of payments for each employee for each month in the tax year in which any recovery is made, so that you can complete the PAYE end-of-year forms.

You must keep full records of all sickness absences of four or more consecutive calendar days and of all payments made to employees during their sickness absence. This is so that HMRC can verify that your employees are receiving their full entitlement.