SSP Entitlement Northern Ireland – Temporary Extension

Published on 25 March 2022
Added by Neill Wallace

Temporary changes were made to the SSP Regulations effective from 14th December 2020 to deal with the exceptional circumstances faced by employers and employees in relation to Covid related illness.

These related to the removal of the three day waiting period for employees claiming statutory sick pay with payment from the first day of illness. Whilst these arrangements have come to an end in other parts of GB, the entitlement to SSP for Covid related absences will remain in force in Northern Ireland having been extended for a period of no longer than 6 months (up to 24th September 2022).


The following summarises the SSP rules which will continue to apply in NI for a maximum of 6 months i.e. up to 24th September 2022.



A temporary removal of the three-day waiting period for employees claiming statutory sick pay (SSP) as a result of COVID-19 only.


 If an employee needs to self-isolate for medical reasons to protect others they will be treated as being ill.


If the employee cannot work while self-isolating because of coronavirus they could get SSP for every day they are in isolation, from day one. They must self-isolate for at least four days to be eligible.


Employee is off work because of coronavirus


You must pay an employee SSP if they are self-isolating because:


    they or someone they live with has coronavirus symptoms or has tested positive for coronavirus

    they’ve been notified by the Public Health Agency’s Contact Tracing Service

    that they’ve been in contact with someone with COVID-19

    someone in their support bubble has COVID-19 symptoms or has tested positive for COVID-19


    they’ve been advised by a doctor or healthcare professional to self-isolate before going into

    hospital for surgery


You must pay your employee from the first qualifying day they are off work i.e. a day the employee usually works on.


A reminder of the rules around qualification for SSP

SSP is paid by employers to employees who are incapable of work due to sickness. It is paid at a flat rate of £95.85[1] for up to 28 weeks.


To be eligible for SSP, an individual must: be classed as an employee and have done some work for their employer; have been ill, or deemed to be incapable of work, for at least 4 days in a row (including non-working days); earn an average of at least £120[2] per week; and tell their employer that they are sick before the employer’s deadline, or within 7 days if the employer has not set a deadline.



The Statutory Sick Pay Rebate Scheme for claiming back Statutory Sick Pay (SSP) for coronavirus related absences, which opened on 21st December 2021, closed on 17 March 2022. Employers had to submit final claims and make any amendments by 24 March 2022.


This has closed to employers in England, Scotland, Wales and Northern Ireland.


[1] This will increase to £99.35 wef 6th April 2022

[2] This will increase to £123 wef 6th  April 2022