Q: I have worked where I am now for eight years. When the old boss retired his sons took over running the business and it’s all about every penny going in their pockets. They don’t care about us workers. I broke my collarbone playing football in September and I’ve been off work ever since because my job is manual and I can’t do it. I thought I’d get sick pay but the boss says I’m not entitled because I’m no longer on the rota and I only have a casual contract that doesn’t state enough hours. Yet I’ve always worked more hours than it says in my contract. What can I do?
A: Unfortunately it is not uncommon for unscrupulous bosses to try and wriggle out of paying sick pay to workers who are too ill to work. Often they will reduce wages and downplay working hours so that they can say the employee does not meet the earnings threshold for sick pay entitlement.
The entitlement criteria is that you must earn more than £116 per week and be off work sick for four working days or more. Statutory Sick Pay (SSP) is payable for up to 28 weeks of sick leave and is currently £92.05 per week. Being off sick for 4 days includes non-working days. Whether you are a full-time employee, on a fixed term contract, work part-time, work through an agency or are on a zero hours contract, you are eligible for SSP if you meet the hours and pay criteria.
You must follow your employer’s reporting rules on sickness absence. Usually you would be expected to supply a sick note if you are off work for more than 7 days. If you have followed the rules and meet the criteria stated above, you should seek advice from a local employment solicitor as soon as possible.