May 7, 2021

How to calculate Statutory Sick Pay (SSP)

As a payroll professional you may at times be required to manually calculate Statutory Sick Pay, or SSP. Here’s how to do the maths.

How is SSP Calculated?

To make sense of SSP the calculation is simple.

You’ll want to take the weekly rate (£96.35 April 2021 onwards) and divide it by the number of qualifying days in a week. Then multiply this by the number of days for which an employee is entitled to.

Remember, the first three days the worker is ill are known as ‘waiting days’, and the fourth is a ‘qualifying day’. As an employer you’re obliged to start paying SSP from the fourth day of illness.

Weekly rate of SSP ÷ no. of qualifying days in a week

x (working days worker is ill – 3)

So, let’s look at an example.

Let’s say your employee earns more than £120 per week, with contracted working days Monday to Friday, and they were sick from Monday 5th until Wednesday 14th April 2021. So the employee was sick for a total of 7 qualifying days (with SSP not payable for the first 3 qualifying days). Therefore, the employee is eligible to four days of SSP.

To calculate the SSP, the weekly rate is divided by the number of qualifying days in a week, and multiplied by the number of eligible days. So, in this context that looks like this:

£96.35 ÷ 7 qualifying days = £13.76 of SSP per day.

£13.76 x 4 days = £55.04 in SSP.

SSP Calculator

Don’t forget, clever payroll software will take into account legislative changes to SSP and auto-apply new rates to your payroll. If you’re lucky, your software will take care of other sick calculations, such as Occupational Sick Pay (OSP). If this isn’t already being taken care of for you, you might be wasting time on OSP calculations.

If you’re running SSP calculations manually you can use gov.uk’s  SSP Calculator specific to the UK.

When am I responsible for paying SSP?

As an employer, you’re responsible for paying SSP if any of the following apply to your situation:

  • You pay Class 1 National Insurance contributions for your employee (or would do if not for their age or their level of earnings)
  • Your employee has been sick for 4 or more days in a row (including non-working days)
  • Your employee has told you they’re sick within your own time limit (or 7 days if you do not have one)

Weekly SSP Rate 2021

SSP rates normally change every year. If you don’t have a software that does it for you then you will need to keep up with changes and apply them to your payroll. To find rates of Statutory Sick Pay from April 6 2021 onwards, click here. Alternatively, bookmark our Payroll Legislation Guide to stay up to date with statutory rates and other need-to-know information.

COVID-19 and SSP

COVID-19 has impacted almost every avenue of everything, and SSP was not one to escape. Check out our FAQs: Statutory Sick Pay for COVID-19 to answer niggling questions you might have around entitlement to SSP & COVID.

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About the author

Jennifer Morrell

About the author

Jennifer Morrell

Jennifer Morrell joined the Moorepay team in 2011 as a payroll consultant and, through a series of promotions, became Moorepay's Payroll Services Director in 2019. An expert in payroll legislation and law, her expertise has been featured by the Chartered Institute of Payroll Professionals.

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