Sick Pay and Disability Leave From Work

Statutory Sick Pay SSP in the UK is paid to you by your employer when you are too unwell to go to work.  It is paid after 4 days of illness in a row for up to 28 weeks.  You have to have an employment contract to qualify.  You can just work part time to qualify.  The amount you qualify for under Statutory Sick Pay is £94.25.  To qualify, you must earn at least £118.00 a week.  Lots of employers have different schemes as part of an employment contract that may offer more money but the £94.25 is the minimum you will get by UK law.  If you do not qualify for Statutory Sick Pay, you should qualify for Employment and Support Allowance instead. 

For the first 7 days in a row you are ill you can self-certify.  This means you can tell your employer yourself that you are ill and why you think you are unwell and can complete a form when you return to work.  After 7 days, you must get a sick note from a doctor.  You must follow your employer's guidance when ill, such as phoning by a certain time if you are unwell and completing the self-certify form.  

If you are unwell for more than 5 days, you may need a Return to Work meeting and certainly this is the case for longer sickness periods.

If you have been unwell for some time, you can ask for a 'phased return to work', this should help you adjust.  You should talk this through with your GP, for example, you should be able to go back gradually on less hours and build your hours up as you get used to work.

Returning to work after illness can be difficult so be kind to yourself.

You can get your GP to complete a Fit Note where your GP suggests you are fit to go to work.  So long as they make 'reasonable adjustments', this could be reduced hours, a later start time or earlier finish time, reallocating some duties, you may currently find hard so giving them to another employee or some form of more flexible working.  

Disability Leave is offered by many employers and is different from sick leave.  Normally, Disability Leaveis planned and paid.  It is for leave from work due directly to your disability.  It is often offered as part of a 'reasonable adjustment' to help someone overcome their disability at work.  The Equality Act (2010) requires employers to make 'Reasonable Adjustments' for disability  and Disability Leave is often offered as part of this.  Examples of acceptable Disability Leave include, but are not limited to:

Hospital appointments 

Counselling appointments for mental health 

Assessments for a health condition or disability like a Dyslexia test

Cancer treatment

Training, like with an assistance dog