Sick pay & entitlement on zero-hours contracts

2 min read  |   1 June, 2023   By Aimée Brougham-Chandler

A woman lies on a sofa under a blanket, with tissues nearby. She's looking at a thermometer and looks stressed and unwell.

It's a common misconception that because workers on zero-hour contracts don't have regular or guaranteed hours of work, they have no statutory rights - but this isn't the case.

In this blog, we'll look at sick pay for zero-hours workers, and what they're entitled to.

Are workers on zero-hours contracts entitled to sick pay?

Workers on zero-hours contracts are entitled to Statutory Sick Pay if they meet the eligibility criteria.

To qualify, they'll need to:

  • Earn more than £123 per week (on average, before tax) from one employer
  • Have been off sick for a minimum of 4 qualifying days in a row. (The first 3 days of this period would need to fall when they'd usually work). 
  • Have told their employer they're sick within the employer's deadline (or within 7 days)

If a zero-hours contract worker relies on more than one job to reach the Lower Earnings Limit, they won't qualify sick pay as it must be reached from the earnings from one employer.

How much is sick pay on a zero-hours contract?

The amount that those on zero-hours contracts should be paid for each day they're off work depends on how many qualifying days they work each week. 

Employees receiving Statutory Sick Pay can receive up to £109.40 a week for up to 28 weeks. The qualifying days worked will determine the amount of sick pay a zero-hours contract worker receives. 

If you need support calculating sick pay, the government calculator can help. Find out more about zero-hours contracts in our free guide.

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Author: Aimée Brougham-Chandler

An IDM-certified Digital Copywriter as of February 2023, Aimée is Breathe's Content Assistant. With a passion for guiding readers to solutions for their HR woes, she enjoys delving into & demystifying all things HR: From employee performance to health and wellbeing, leave to company culture & much more.

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