SSP for Part Time Workers: A Complete Guide

In the UK, both part-time and workers are equally protected with sick pay entitlement. As from May 2022, SSP is the government mandated minimum that employers must pay employees if they are too sick to work, ensuring both contractual sick pay and national insurance considerations.

Throughout this article, we’ll outline how SSP for part time workers operates and what you need to know as both an employer and an employee when it comes to statutory sick pay and your employment rights.

Who is a part-time worker?

Typically, full-time employees work around 35 – 40 hours per week. Full time workers can work more than this, but a part-time employee is an employee who works less than 35 hours per week.

Overtime won’t affect whether you’re a part-time worker or not. If you’re a contracted part-time worker, even if you work around 35 hours per week thanks to overtime, you’re still employed as a part-time worker. 

If you’re not contracted for any number of hours, this means that you’re a zero hours contract worker.

What is the Statutory Sick Pay for part-time workers?

The statutory sick pay for part-time workers is exactly the same as full-time workers. As an employer, you must pay anyone who qualifies for sick pay. 

Pro-rata sick pay doesn’t exist, and there’s no way to round it down or reduce it alongside contractual hours.

How is SSP calculated for part-time workers?

SSP works out as £94.25 every week for up to 28 weeks per period of sickness. There is no way to provide less sick pay – this is the minimum amount of sick pay you must provide. 

If your employees are part-time, they still receive the same amount of sick pay, ensuring that they meet all the requirements and criteria. For more guidance on how to calculate SSP for part-time workers, find more about calculating sick pay today.

Do you pay tax on Statutory Sick Pay?

Technically, Statutory Sick Pay is a form of income, even though the recipient receives it when they are too ill to be working. 

This means national insurance and income tax are paid on top of SSP. However, the amount of SSP part time employees are entitled to is relatively low when compared with the annual tax-free allowance of £12,570. 

This means that either little or no tax is payable on SSP. Calculating SSP is made even easier with our payroll software.

What is the SSP entitlement criteria?

There are some minimum requirements that must be met in order for your workers to qualify for part-time statutory sick pay. 

These include: 

  • An employment contract – The employee must have an employment contract which classes them as an employee. This means freelancers or individual contractors aren’t entitled to SSP from their clients, but agency workers do receive statutory sick pay. 
  • Four days of sickness – Statutory sick pay entitlement begins after four days of sickness. These four days can include any four days in a row – including weekends and days when the individual does not work.
  • Informing the employer While the employment contract may stipulate a different deadline, in order to receive SSP, the employee must let the employer know that they are unable to work due to sickness within seven days. 
  • Minimum earnings – Employees must earn more than £123 per week to be able to receive statutory sick pay. 
  • A fit note – After the seventh day of consecutive sickness, the employer must receive a doctor’s note outlining the employee’s inability to return to work due to illness. Occupational therapists, physiotherapists and other medical professionals can also write this note.
  • No statutory maternity pay – Employees cannot claim statutory sick pay and statutory maternity pay at the same time.
  • Received less than 28 weeks of SSP already – If employees have already received 28 weeks of SSP, they’re no longer eligible for SSP. At this point, they may be eligible for disability benefits if they have a long term condition.
  • No linked sickness – A “linked sickness” is a sickness that lasts at least four days and then reoccurs in the next eight weeks. If an individual has these linked periods crop up over three years, they could risk losing their eligibility for SSP.

Are there any other types of sick pay that your part-time workers could receive?

Depending on your part-time workers contract, they may be eligible for full pay when they are absent from work due to sickness. This refers to OSP – occupational sick pay – which should be outlined in your company policy. 

Your employee will still have to provide a doctor’s note if they’ve been absent for over 7 days. 

In these doctor’s notes – often called sick notes or fit notes – the doctor will outline how long they expect your employee to be off work for. 

If an employee returns to work in less than seven days, you can ask for them to fill out a self-evaluation form when they come back to work, if this is part of your company’s policy.

What other kinds of benefits should part-time workers receive?

Part-time workers are treated the same as full-time workers, and the one of the only differences is that full-time workers work for more than 35 hours per week. 

Part-time workers’ benefits include: 

There are some instances where you could offer benefits only to full-time employees and not to part-time employees.

However, this exclusion needs to be justified, and if part-time employees can’t have the same benefits as full-time employees they should be able to receive an alternative benefit.

What is the SSP entitlement criteria for zero hours contract workers?

In a zero hours contract, employees aren’t guaranteeing any number of hours to their employer. 

However, this does not mean that they don’t have statutory employment rights. Zero hours contract workers are entitled to the same payment of sick pay if they earn at least £120 per week. 

However, zero hours workers cannot combine the earnings from two jobs to create the total of income earnt. The £120 earnt per week must come from one employer.

How can you keep track of sick leave?

It can be difficult to keep track of who is on sick leave or whether those that are ill are eligible for sick leave. In order to understand more about your company’s sick leave policy, we would recommend that you track sick leave using our payroll and HR software.

How can payroll solutions help?

At CPS we offer a wide range of different management software solutions to help your business to run smoothly.

From HR management to payroll software, we can take care of your business’ SSP payments and ensure that all of your employees are receiving the correct amount of paid sick leave.