Are Zero Hour Contracts Entitled To Sick Pay

Paul Gonzalez
• Thursday, 12 November, 2020
• 8 min read

You might be under the impression that zero hours workers don't have any workplace rights. As workers, they're entitled to annual leave and the National Minimum Wage.

(Source: www.bbc.co.uk)


Statutory Sickbay (SSP) is available to zero hours contract workers as long as: If a worker relies on multiple jobs to reach this wage, they might not be eligible for SSP.

It's your responsibility to give zero hours contract workers sickpay, and you shouldn't try to trick them out of their SSP allowance either. For example, if a contract worker calls in sick, you shouldn't cancel their upcoming shifts to make it look like they were never due in work.

So, even though you might think you're saving money by not paying SSP, you could end up losing thousands... or even your business. You will have a right to Statutory Sickbay (SSP) if you meet the eligibility criteria.

Browse our section on Statutory Sickbay for more information. Make sure to get individual advice on your case from your union, a source on our free help page or an independent financial advisor before taking any action.

Get the guidance you need to stay focused and reach your goals. The topic of sickbay has been discussed at length recently amid the global outbreak of coronavirus.

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(Source: blogs.canterbury.ac.uk)

The number of confirmed cases in the UK has risen to 596 while the death toll currently stands at 10. The rules around SSP have changed amid the coronavirus outbreak, which has now been classed as a pandemic.

Prime Minister Boris Johnson announced SSP will be paid from the first day of illness, or self-isolation, as opposed to the fourth. This comes as people are being advised to avoid attending their GP where possible to try and stop the spread of the virus.

Although not eligible for SSP, the Budget, outlined by Chancellor Right Sunk on Wednesday, March 11, states that self-employed workers can “more easily make a claim for Universal Credit or Contributory Employment and Support Allowance.” Statutory Sickbay covers you for up to 28 weeks (Image: Getty)Should your employer refuse to grant you the sickbay, Citizens’ Advice suggests asking them for a written explanation of reasons for saying no and contact HMRC if unsatisfied with their response.

You can contact your nearest Citizens Advice if you’re not happy with their explanation. You shouldn’t be made to feel bad about asking for sickbay you’re entitled to.

If you think you’ve been treated unfairly, disciplined or dismissed because you asked for sickbay, you might be able to take action. After self-isolating for more than 7 days, your employer might ask for proof you need to stay off work.

(Source: www.leftcom.org)

Your employer shouldn’t ask to see a note until you’ve been self-isolating for at least 7 days. If someone you live with or someone in your bubble tests positive, you can get SSP for longer than 11 days if they still have symptoms.

NHS Test and Trace will send you a notice that says when you can stop self-isolating. You’ll need to show your employer a letter from the hospital telling you to self-isolate.

If you haven’t been given a contract, or it’s not in there, ask your employer or check your staff handbook or intranet. Your entitlement to sickbay will depend on if your illness is related to your pregnancy or not.

If you become sick after your maternity pay period ends you can get statutory sickbay if you're entitled. If you’re entitled to get statutory sickbay you should still get it during any time you have to stay in hospital.

If your illness means you can do 1 of your jobs but not the other, you could get sickbay from 1 while getting your normal wages from the other. If you work and get your state pension, you’re entitled to get statutory sickbay as long as you qualify.

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(Source: www.moddb.com)

You won't be entitled to statutory sickbay if you're already off work because you're involved in a trade dispute and then your illness starts. If you think you’re entitled to statutory sickbay but your employer says you're not and refuses to pay it, you should contact HM Revenue and Customs (HMRC) or HMRC's Statutory Payments Disputes Team.

If your employer says you’re not entitled to sickbay, ask them to give you a written explanation of their reasons. They should give you this on a form called Statutory sickbay and an employee's claim for benefit (SSP1).

Now that Steve knows the relevant period, he needs to calculate John's average weekly earnings. Steven knows that John was paid £1,050 for hours worked in the relevant period.

The last day of the relevant period is 15 November 2017 (the last payday prior to falling ill) The start of the relevant period is 16 September 2017 (the day after the payday at least 8 weeks prior to the last payday) Therefore, the relevant period is 16 September to 15 November. Now that Matt knows the relevant period, he needs to calculate Karen's average weekly earnings.

Karen was paid £850 for hours worked in the relevant period. Workers who fall ill prior to 8 weeks of continuous service may still be entitled to SSP.

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(Source: www.freedomfightersforamerica.com)

Example C Charley has been working for Lindsay for 3 weeks and 3 days on a zero-hour contract paid weekly on a Wednesday Charley falls ill on 21 November 2017, and notifies Lindsay on the same day You will be entitled to basic statutory employment rights such as the National Minimum Wage (NEW), holiday pay and statutory rest breaks, based on the hours that you are required to work.

As long as you agree to perform it 'personally' (i.e. to do the work yourself rather than by sending someone else, or by using a limited company) you will be a 'worker'. As a result, you will qualify for ‘worker’ rights, including the NEW, holiday pay, rest breaks and freedom from discrimination.

Some zero -hours contract workers may struggle to meet this threshold, especially if you rely on more than one job. Across all the sectors where zero hours contracts have become common, including retail, hospitality, social care and the gig economy, unions are making gains for workers, whether by bringing test cases in the employment tribunal, campaigning to tackle abuses, negotiating improvements to terms and conditions or helping workers to connect and organize.

Make sure to get individual advice on your case from your union, a source on our free help page or an independent financial advisor before taking any action. The Agricultural Wages Board in England was abolished on 1 October 2013.

From this date Agricultural workers in England who are not covered by the terms and conditions of the Agricultural Wages Board will be eligible for Statutory Payments if they meet the appropriate qualifying conditions. Casual (or short/ zero hours contract), and agency workers are treated as employees for PAY tax and Class 1 National Insurance contributions (Nice).

The period for which Statutory Sickbay (SSP) is due is different depending on whether the employee has had 3 months continuous employment with you. Continuous employment is not broken by periods of sickness, annual leave or if you’re unable to offer work.

It’ll only be broken by a trade dispute such as strike action or if the worker has been given written termination of contract. SSP entitlement will continue to the end of any assignment they had agreed to work.

Employees in education including classroom assistants, college lecturers, nursery workers, school bus drivers and kitchen staff may be contracted to work outside term-times. A term-time worker who becomes sick outside their contract, for example during school holidays, is not entitled to SSP, as they’re not an employee during those weeks.

There’s no need for a resolution of the company’s shareholders at its Annual General Meeting (AGM). The method of calculating director’s remuneration by an annual figure (after an ordinary resolution has been passed by shareholders) will apply to these companies.

Calculate the AWE by adding together the monies paid and any other payments of earnings. Some directors may regularly draw money from the business in anticipation of a formal vote.

Do not include this money when working out the director’s AWE, even if Nice were deducted at the time they were paid. If your employee’s PIN or linked PIN continues but your liability to pay employer’s Class 1 Nice ceases, SSP continues until their entitlement stops for another reason.

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