Statutory Pay

Statutory Sick Pay (SSP)

Who is entitled

PAYE candidates are entitled to SSP providing they fit the following criteria:

  • Must have been paid by morgan hunt for 8 consecutive weeks prior to the absence and have earnings of £118.00 or more per week (this is the LEL or lower earnings limit)

Length of Absence

Absences for 7 calendar days or less

  • These can be noted on the timesheet as ‘sick’ OR
  • They can send in an email to confirm sickness OR
  • They can use the clients own self cert form


Absences for more than 7 calendar days

  • These can only be paid upon receipt of a Doctors Note, it must be the original, a copy cannot be accepted.  If a candidate returns to work before the Doctors note expires, then the doctors note is no longer valid from the date they return to work

Before entering sickness on payroll, you should check to see if a timesheet has been received or the candidate has worked. If the absence is for a full week, then in the timesheet notes, put a comment that the candidate was sick, specify the period and also your initials and then force validate the timesheet, so that it cannot be paid in error. Only enter sickness upto the weekending date of the timesheet we are processing payroll for.

How much is SSP

SSP is currently £94.25 per week – subject to review each April.

To establish how much SSP is on a daily basis, you need to divide this by the number of days the candidate is contracted to work per week. A candidate working 5 days would therefore be entitled to £18.85 per day.

When is SSP payable

A candidate must be absent for 4 consecutive working days in order for SSP to be payable.

The first 3 days are ‘Waiting Days’ and SSP is not payable until the 4th day. If the candidate was absent for 4 working days only then they would receive £18.85.

If a candidate is sick for 4 consecutive working days or more, receives SSP, returns to work and then is sick again within an 8 week period, the sickness will be considered as linked, providing that the second period of sickness is for a further 4 days or more. The candidate would then receive 4 days or more SSP depending on the length of the second absence, without the need to serve the first 3 waiting days again.

What happens when Morgan Hunt cannot pay SSP

If a candidate is not entitled to SSP either because they have used their entitlement or because they have not worked for us long enough, then we must complete an SSP1 form, stating the reason for non-payment, that the candidate can take to the benefits agency to claim direct.


Statutory Maternity Pay (SMP)


SMP for eligible employees can be paid for up to 39 weeks, usually as follows:

  • the first 6 weeks: 90% of their average weekly earnings (AWE) before tax
  • the remaining 33 weeks: £148.68 or 90% of their AWE (whichever is lower)

Tax and National Insurance will be deducted.


Workers / Employees must:

  • be on our payroll in the ‘qualifying week’ - the 15th week before the expected week of childbirth
  • give correct notice
  • give proof they’re pregnant
  • have worked for us continuously for at least 26 weeks up to any day in the qualifying week
  • earn at least £118 a week (gross) in an 8-week ‘relevant period’

Proof of pregnancy

We must get proof of the pregnancy before we pay SMP. This is usually a doctor’s letter or a maternity certificate (known as an MATB1 certificate). Midwives and doctors usually issue these 20 weeks before the due date.

The employee should give us proof within 21 days of the SMP start date. We can agree to accept it later. We don’t have to pay SMP if we haven’t received proof of the due date 13 weeks after the SMP start date.

Refuse pay form SMP1

We can refuse Statutory Maternity Pay (SMP) if the employee doesn’t qualify. They may be able to get Maternity Allowance instead.

To refuse it, we give the employee the SMP1 form within 7 days of our decision. They must get this form within 28 days of their request for Statutory Maternity Pay or the birth (whichever is earlier).