Sick pay is among the benefits that working for an umbrella company offers for contractors. But it is important to be aware of the rules, guidelines and criteria governing sick pay for contractors working under an umbrella company.
Statutory Sick Pay eligibility criteria
Employees at umbrella companies are able to claim Statutory Sick Pay (SSP), but there are some eligibility criteria to be aware of first.
Firstly, in order to claim you must have been consistently sick for four or more consecutive days. You must have a contract with the umbrella company as proof of your employment and must have spent some time working under the company.
Furthermore, you must have earned an average of around £120 per week. Your application must be presented in a correct and error-free form. Finally, if you’ve been ill for more than seven days, you will be required to provide solid proof, such as a doctor’s note, for your illness.
SSP and COVID-19
The COVID-19 pandemic has led to some adjustments to the rules, regulations and criteria surrounding SSP. Contractors can apply for SSP if they are self-isolating due to COVID-19 related issues.
This includes: if you or someone you live with has COVID-19 symptoms or has tested positive for the virus; if you’ve been notified that you’ve been in contact with someone with COVID-19; if someone in your support bubble or extended household has tested positive or are displaying symptoms; if a doctor or healthcare professional has advised you to self-isolate prior to entering hospital for surgery.
You would also be eligible for SSP if you live or work in an area that is subject to local restrictions or if you’ve been advised to shield due to being at high risk of severe illness if you contract COVID-19.
Who isn’t eligible for SSP?
Contractors should also be aware that there are certain conditions under which they will not be eligible for SSP.
You will not be eligible if you’ve already received the maximum 28-week annual SSP limit, if you are receiving Statutory Maternity Pay or some other allowance, or if you are off-work due to pregnancy-related issues.
You won’t be eligible if you are working outside of the UK and aren’t making National Insurance Contributions (NICs). Contractors who become ill while on strike or in custody will also not be eligible.
Every contractor has the right to SSP and you should not be hesitant about applying for it if you are sick for longer than 4 days or are self-isolating due to COVID-19. Familiarity with the rules and guidelines governing SSP will help you know when you are eligible to apply for it and how to go about the process.