UK Contractors – What are your Sick Pay entitlements?

For the UK contractors, there are plenty of challenges – securing your next contract, keeping your skills up to date and trying to ensure you manage all your taxation, accounting, and administrative duties. Another consideration is what to do about sickness and long-term sickness at that.

First of all, let’s talk about statutory rights. As a contractor/agency PAYE Umbrella worker you are entitled to statutory sick pay (SSP) when:

1. Your weekly income exceeds £113 per week (there are certain caveats to this).

2. You are unable to attend work due to sickness for 4 consecutive days (there are certain caveats to this).

This qualifies you for an SSP payment of £89.35 per week. It can last for for up to 28 weeks if you are sick for that length of time.

SSP qualification can also be claimed by contractors employing their own Personal Limited companies at approximately the same rate of SSP.

However, your SSP payments will not cover your weekly expenses and contractors should look to take out the following:

Critical illness cover – This generally entitles the holder to receive a lump sum payment if they contract an illness stipulated in their policy.

Income protection – This provides a regular payment in the event of serious illness to cover your lost earnings during that period.
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