Can I get sick pay?

If you work for an employer and take time off sick because of cancer, you may be able to get sick pay. This could be one of the following.
  • Statutory Sick Pay (SSP) – this is money that most workers get if they are too sick to work. If your employer cannot provide anything through a company scheme, they should still pay you SSP.
  • Occupational or company sick pay – this is your employer’s own sick pay scheme. Check your contract to find out what you are entitled to. It may be more generous than SSP or paid on top of it. Some employers offer full pay up to a certain time.

You can get SSP if you:

  • are off work sick for 4 days in a row or more (including non-working days)
  • earn an average of at least £120 a week
  • tell your employer that you are sick before their deadline or within 7 days if they do not have one.

Your employer will pay you SSP for up to 28 weeks. The weekly amount is currently £95.85.

Before your SSP is due to end, your employer should give you a form called SSP1. This form will tell you when the last payment will be. You will need this form if you want to apply for a benefit called Employment and Support Allowance (ESA)

Speak to your line manager or HR manager to find out what sick pay is offered, and how you can claim it.

There is more information about how to claim for Statutory Sick Pay (SSP) on the website.

Talking to your employer about sick pay

To qualify for sick pay, you will need to tell your employer you are sick. Your company may have rules or policies about when and how you tell your manager.

If there are no rules of policies, you will need to tell your employer within a week of the first day you are sick, to qualify for SSP. Your employer does not have to pay SSP for any days before this.

After a week, your employer can ask you to provide medical evidence (such as a fit note). They may need this to give you company sick pay or SSP.

You do not have to tell your employer you have cancer if you do not want to. Call our Work Support Service on 0808 808 00 00 to find out how we can support you.

What if I am still unable to work after SSP ends?

There may be benefits that could help you if you are unable to work. You can call the Macmillan Support Line on 0808 808 00 00 to talk about what benefits might be available to you, and how to claim them.

Can I receive sick pay if I am self-employed?

If you are self-employed, you will not get sick pay. But you can still apply for other benefits if you cannot work or if your income decreases. For example:

If you already receive certain benefits such as Housing Benefit or tax credits, you should get advice before applying for Universal Credit. These benefits will stop, and you may be worse off if you apply. You can speak to our welfare rights advisers on 0808 808 00 00.

How we can help

Macmillan Grants

If you have cancer, you may be able to get a Macmillan Grant to help with the extra costs of cancer. Find out who can apply and how to access our grants.

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