Stuck: reform sick pay

Disabled people, including people with mental health problems, have told us that the current Statutory Sick Pay (SSP) system is inflexible and risks plunging them into poverty.

Too many of us are stuck with the impossible choice between taking time off sick when we’re unwell and being able to pay bills or buy food.

In 2020, we joined Mind in calling for a modern sick pay system that is flexible and fair. We made the following recommendations.

Sick pay: our recommendations

We are calling for the Government to reform the sick pay system, so that it is flexible, inclusive and a living wage.

Remove waiting days

We are calling for waiting days to be removed for SSP, allowing people who are sick to start receiving support from the first day of absence. Currently you need be off sick for 3 consecutive days before you can get sick pay.

Paid at an hourly rate

SSP is currently paid at £94.25 a week. SSP should be paid at an hourly rate.

Pay at a living wage

SSP should be paid in line with the national minimum and living wage.

Available to everyone

SSP should be paid to all employees and workers, regardless of their earnings or working hours, or contract.

Available all year round

The Department for Work and Pensions should extend the time period for which an employee can receive SSP from 28 weeks to 52 weeks.

The campaign so far

In February 2020, Mind and Scope delivered an open letter signed by over 27,000 campaigners to the Department for Work and Pensions, and the Department for Health.

The open letter was calling for a modern sick pay system which is flexible and fair.

Health is Everyone's Business consultation

Following our involvement in the ‘Health is Everyone’s Business’ consultation, the Government published its response in October 2021.

We were disappointed with the decision that now is not the right time to introduce changes to the SSP system. We will not stop until the Government recognises the need to reform sick pay, now.

Advice and support