Holiday Accrual on SSP

When employees are unable to work due to sickness, they may be eligible for Statutory Sick Pay (SSP), currently set at £116.75 per week for up to 28 weeks in the UK. During these periods, employees still accrue Holiday or Annual Leave.

Employees eligible for Statutory Maternity Pay (SMP) also continue to accrue their standard holiday entitlement during maternity leave, including statutory and any additional contractual holiday. This includes bank holidays occurring during the leave period.

The Basics of SSP

SSP serves as a financial support for employees who are unable to work due to illness. It’s payable:

  • For up to 28 weeks.
  • At a weekly rate of £116.75.
  • SSP eligibility begins from the fourth ‘qualifying day’ (the day an employee is normally required to work) of illness.

To qualify for SSP, an employee must:

  • Have an employment contract.
  • Earn an average of at least £123 per week.
  • Provide notice and proof of illness, if requested, after seven consecutive days of sickness.

Holiday Accrual During SSP and SMP

Employees continue to accrue statutory holiday entitlement while off work sick. This means even when employees are on long-term sick leave, they still build up their paid holiday time.

Employees also continue to accrue holiday entitlement during maternity leave. This includes both the statutory entitlement and any additional holiday provided under enhanced or contractual terms. The accrual applies even during extended periods of maternity leave and encompasses any bank holidays that occur during this time.

Long-term Sick Leave and Holiday Entitlement

In situations of long-term sick leave, employees can carry over up to four weeks of unused holiday into the next holiday year. This carried-over holiday must be used within 18 months. It’s a provision that helps employees who couldn’t take advantage of their holiday due to illness, ensuring they don’t lose out on their statutory rights.

Special and Legal Considerations

Different rules may apply for irregular hours workers and part-year workers, reflecting the variable nature of their contracts and working patterns. Both employers and employees need to understand the specific terms outlined in their employment contracts and any relevant company policies.

Employers must allow employees to take or carry over their statutory holiday entitlement. Denial based on sex, pregnancy, or maternity reasons could be deemed discrimination.

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