5. Absences Due to Ill-Health (Part 5)
When does sick pay become payable? (Articles 16, 17, 18 and 19)
- To qualify for any Agricultural Sick Pay ( ASP), a worker must have been in continuous employment with the same employer for at least 52 weeks.
- The minimum number of days sick pay to which a worker may be entitled in any period of 52 weeks is calculated by multiplying the number of days they are contracted to work in a week by 13. Thus a worker who is contracted to work five days a week would be entitled to 65 days sick pay in any 52 week period.
- Where a worker’s absence continues beyond 52 weeks they will become entitled to a further 13 weeks period of sick pay.
- Sick pay is due when a worker cannot work because they are ill, injured or suffering from some other medical condition. Sick pay is also payable when a worker is prohibited from working because of contact with a contagious or infectious disease (but only if they have a certificate from their doctor to confirm this and the certificate is shown to their employer).
- Sick pay is not paid for the first three days of each absence. In addition, days when the worker is in receipt of maternity pay, which are paid as holidays, or when the worker is in legal custody, do not qualify for sick pay.
- To qualify for sick pay, the following steps must be taken:
- the employer must be informed of the absence within 24 hours and the reason for the absence made known (this could be done by phone, in writing, in person, etc.);
- if requested to do so in writing by their employer, the worker must provide an explanation in writing for their absence. This explanation must be signed by the worker and must be provided within 24 hours of the employer’s request;
- if the period of sickness lasts between four and six days,
the worker must provide their employer with one of the
(a) a statement signed by the worker explaining the reason for their absence;
(b) a medical certificate relating to the period of absence; or
(c) a certificate of admission to hospital;
- if the period of sickness lasts for seven days or more, the
worker must provide either:
(a) a medical certificate; or
(b) a certificate of admission to hospital.
( Note: When calculating the period of sickness, only contractual working days are taken into account – holidays and non-working days are excluded.)
How is sick pay calculated? (Article 18)
- Having followed the above guidance and worked out the number
of days which qualify for sick pay, each day must be paid
according to the following calculation:
the minimum hourly rate to which the worker is entitled (including the additional sum, if appropriate) multiplied by the number of hours which they normally work per week (excluding overtime and limited to no more than 39) and divided by the number of days per week which the worker is contracted to work.
Example: For a worker with more than 52 weeks continuous employment who is entitled to the additional sum, contracted to work 39 hours per week over five days.
What happens when the sick pay 13-week period is up?
- The Statutory Sick Pay Scheme ( SSP) is payable for a maximum of 28 weeks in any one spell of sickness, employers should be aware that there may on occasions be an obligation to continue paying SSP even when a worker’s entitlement to sick pay under articles 15-18 inclusive of the Order is exhausted.