Contractors Guide to Umbrella Company Sick Pay

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Many benefits come with working via an Umbrella Company. Umbrella Options has enabled contractors to take advantage of the ability to offset certain business expenses against the different taxes. An umbrella company will take care of the administrative tasks that you might experience, giving you the ability to focus on your specific projects. Despite this, many people are unaware of the benefits on offer to those who choose to use an umbrella company.

When a contractor chooses to use an umbrella company, it will become an intermediary between the contractor and the recruitment agency, although the contractor will become an employer. Therefore, this guide aims to help you understand the benefits and benefits that surround the likes of Umbrella Company sick pay.

Statutory Sick Pay (SSP)

To be eligible for SSP, you will need to make sure that you:

  • Have a contract of employment with your umbrella company
  • Worked for the umbrella company for a certain period
  • Been sick for more than four days consecutively
  • Earn an average wage of £120 per week
  • If the employee is ill for longer than 7 days, then a sick note from their GP will be required as proof

So, when you are applying for SSP, it is imperative to remember that you have to be unwell for more than four consecutive days, and one single day of sickness is not enough to qualify for SSP.

If an employee has been paid for less than 8 weeks, they are also eligible for SSP, and should they find it difficult, they can use a sick pay calculator to work out the amount they will be entitled to. However, an employee can still choose to use annual leave during this time if they wish, giving them the potential to take advantage of other benefits that come with their employment status.

Covid-19 and SSP

The Covid-19 has caused widespread illness, and anyone can contract the virus at any time. However, it might have caused confusion when it comes to SSP, but in the same way as other illnesses, contractors can still apply for SSP should they follow the criteria below:

  • If someone tests positive for coronavirus in their family and are forced to self-isolate and are unable to work, they will be able to claim SSP.
  • Employees who are forced to shield and are unable to work will also be entitled to SSP.
  • If employees have found that they have come into contact with someone who has coronavirus and has to self-isolate, then they too will be able to take advantage of SSP.

For those employees who have been placed on Furlough as per the Coronavirus Job Retention Scheme, then they will not be able to apply for SSP for Covid-19.

Who Cannot Claim SSP?

As a contractor working as an employee through an Umbrella company, there are instances where you will be unable to apply for SSP. This is the case if:

  • Have already used up your maximum SSP allowance, which is a maximum of 28 weeks on an annual basis
  • Already receiving an allowance or Statutory Maternity Pay
  • You are off work and unable to work because of a problem associated with pregnancy
  • Not a part of the National Insurance Contribution Scheme, and you are working outside of the European Union.
  • You find yourself in custody or on strike during your period of illness

Coronavirus Job Retention Scheme – What is it?

The Coronavirus Job Retention Scheme has been put in place as a temporary measure to help employees retain their job and income during the pandemic. The scheme has proved hugely successful and has helped ease the burden that people might have faced had the scheme not been implemented. Millions of people have already used the scheme, and the support they are receiving is based on 80% of their income, although this is like to change. If employees can work, then the scheme cannot be used.


It is the right of every employee to apply for SSP where they meet the right criteria. This means that if they are unwell for more than four days, they have the right to apply for SSP, which will ensure they are paid during their sickness period. Every employee can apply for this, so they should feel confident when applying for it or have queries surrounding it. This guide aims to provide insight into what it means and the process as well as eligibility. All employees of umbrella companies can use this guide to find the information that they need about Umbrella Company sick pay and to help them understand when they can submit their claim. It covers sickness from Covid-19 too.

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