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Statutory sick pay

For people with mental health problems, the sick pay system risks plunging us into poverty and pushing us out of work. Learn about the changes we're demanding to sick pay, and find out how you can get involved.

The facts about Statutory Sick Pay

Statutory Sick Pay (SSP) is the legal minimum employers must pay us when we’re off sick. It's just £109.40 a week.

You can't get it until you've been off sick for 4 days in a row.

And you can only get it if you earn more than an average of £123 a week.

This risks plunging us into poverty. It leaves us with the impossible choice between taking care of our mental health or being able to pay bills or buy food. 

Across 2021 and 2022, people with mental health problems told us about their experiences with Statutory Sick Pay (SSP). They said:

2 in 3 people said that receiving sick pay caused them financial problems. Some were left in debt.

More than 1 in 4 people said statutory sick pay had affected their ability to pay their bills or buy food. 

3 in 5 people said the reduction in income from SSP had a negative effect on their mental health.

What we're fighting for

That's why we're campaigning for a fairer and more flexible sick pay system.

We know a fairer system is possible. During coronavirus, the government changed the law so anyone worried they had coronavirus could access SSP immediately.

We’re calling on the government to reform sick pay so we can all take time off when we're unwell, whatever our illness or condition.  

We demand a system where: 

  • We get sick pay from the first day we’re off ill
  • Sick pay matches worker's wages

Read our briefing to the government about sick pay

People's experiences with sick pay

Allanah shares her experience with SSP and explains why she thinks the law must change.

"The financial trouble caused by Statutory Sick Pay wasn't just a drop in pay. It was the difference between being evicted or not, between eating or not."

Read Jenny's story

How you can get involved

Do you have a story similar to Allanah or Jenny? Would you like to share your experiences with us?

Email us at [email protected] to tell us about what you've gone through.

Where to get support

If you're worried about sick pay and how it might affect you, there's lots of information out there. Citizens Advice has information on how to get sick pay, and what to do if your employer refuses to pay you.

Go to Citizens Advice

Other ways to get involved

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