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Zero-hours contract: sick pay and entitlement

2 min read | 8 June, 2017 By Rachael Down


It's a common misconception that because workers on zero-hour contracts are not entitled to hours of work, they have no statutory rights. This is not the case.

We'll cover:

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

Workers on a zero-hours contract are entitled to statutory sick pay providing they earn more than £118 per week (before tax as of March 2020) from one employer.

While many zero-hours contract workers may not reach this threshold due to the ad-hoc 'gig economy', those that do are entitled to receive sick pay.

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.

According to citizen's advice, to receive statutory sick pay, an individual must meet the following criteria:

  • Be sick for 4 full days or more in a row (including non-working days).

  • Fall outside of the ineligible categories, e.g. self-employed, in the armed forces, have taken 28 SSP in the same period etc.

  • Follow their employer’s policy for sick pay.

We store our sick pay policy in our company documents in Breathe. It sits neatly in a tab on our main dashboard tucked safely away in the cloud and we're notified by email when there's something new to read. 


How much is zero-hours contract SSP?

easy_absence_managementEmployees receiving statutory sick pay are entitled to £94.25 a week for up to 28 weeks. An employer may pay more than this, but it's illegal for them to pay less.

It is advised that terms surrounding sick pay are written in an employees’ contract, known as 'contractual sick pay'.

If an employer feels that the employee is not entitled to statutory sick pay they must provide their reasons for denying sick pay in writing. 

How does COVID-19 affect SSP and entitlement?

We understand that change is daunting at the best of times. Check out our small business COVID-19 help page to ensure we stay connected, engaged and on the right track, together. 

Related: Zero-hours contracts: holiday pay and entitlement


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Posted on 8 June, 2017

By Rachael Down

in HR policies and processes

Tag HR policies and processes

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