Sick pay in your employment notice period
This brief guide looks at what pay you should get if you are off sick and have gone down to reduced pay, and then you hand in your notice. Should you receive only sick pay or should you receive full pay during your notice period? And if the pay you have received is less than your entitlement, what should you do about it?
When should you receive full pay during your notice period?
The answer depends on the length of your notice. According to the Employments Right Act (ERA) ss.86-89, if your notice period is a week or less above the statutory notice period, then you will be entitled to receive full pay throughout your notice period, despite being absent due to sickness or injury.
If on the other hand, your notice period is over a week above the statutory minimum notice period, then you cannot benefit from the provisions of the ERA ’96 and you will only be entitled to receive your contractual sick pay or SSP (Statutory Sick Pay) as the case may be.
Your statutory notice is one week per year of service
If your contractual notice is less than a week more than your statutory notice you are entitled to full pay during your notice period.
If your contractual notice is longer you only get what your contract states
What is the statutory minimum notice period?
To work out the statutory minimum notice period, figure out the amount of time you have worked for your employer, as that has an impact on the minimum length of the notice period granted to you:
-If you have worked for your employer for one month or more, your notice period must be at least a week.
-If it’s between one month and 2 years, you are entitled to one week’s notice.
-For anything above 2 years’ service, you are entitled to one week per year worked, up to a maximum of 12 weeks for 12 years or more of continuous employment.
So, if you have worked for seven and a half years, you are entitled to 7 weeks’ notice. This minimum applies no matter what your contract says.
What to do if you haven’t been paid enough
If you realise that you were not paid your full pay when you should have been entitled to it, you should contact your employer immediately. If they do not acknowledge their mistake and refuse to pay your full pay, you have an employment dispute on your hands.
If you would like help in dealing with your dispute, we may be able to help you negotiate a settlement agreement in which the equivalent of your notice pay can be paid tax-free as part of the settlement payment.
As a last resort, if your employer refuses to play fair, you may have an employment tribunal case. However, we would only recommend going down the tribunal route as an absolute last resort.
See also our related article on payment in lieu of notice.