How soon do I have to notify my employer?

You need to notify your employer of your sickness in order to be paid Statutory Sick Pay (SSP). In practice, it is best to do this as soon as possible, and you should follow your employer’s rules for notifying absence.

If you are claiming SSP:

  • You can notify your employer by phone or in writing. If there is a postal delay, your employer must treat notification in writing as made by you on the day your letter was posted.
  • Employers cannot insist that you tell them in person, or by a specific time on the first day you should have been at work in order to be paid SSP.
  • You do not have to notify your employer more frequently than once a week during the sickness.

If your employer is paying you more than SSP, your employer is entitled to set its own rules for notification of sickness absence, which are likely to be more onerous than the rules for SSP. Failing to follow these rules can result in you losing your right to occupational (but not statutory) sick pay.