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Statutory Sick Pay Changes

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Newsletter issue - December 08.

Some of the rules and forms for statutory sick pay have changed recently, so make sure you have the right forms to hand when the winter flu hits your office.

Most employees qualify for SSP from day one of their employment, if they are paid above the lower earnings limit for national insurance (currently £90 per week). If they qualify the employer should pay them SSP, or an equivalent amount from the company's own sick pay scheme, from the fourth day of sickness. Note that all agency workers now qualify for SSP on the same basis as other employees, even if their contract is for less than three months. This change was brought in on 27 October 2008.

The employee is entitled to receive SSP for 28 weeks, where they are still sick throughout that period. If at the end of that period the employee is still unable to work he moves onto State benefits. A revised SSP1 form has been introduced because of the change in structure of the State provided sickness benefit, which is now called Employment and Support Allowance (ESA). To tell the employee he is no longer entitled to SSP the employer must complete the new form SSP1 and send it to the employee. The new version of this form can be downloaded form the Department of work and pension website at http://www.dwp.gov.uk/lifeevent/benefits/ssp1_08_print.pdf and it must be used where the SSP entitlement runs out from 27 October 2008.