Sickness

What level of pay am I entitled to during sick leave?

Your entitlement to sick pay depends on your year of service. All teachers are entitled to sick pay of varying periods, and this is based on an annual entitlement. The entitlement year runs from 1 April. The allowances are as follows:

Teachers in first year of service: 25 days full pay. Also, after 4 calendar months of service, you will be entitled to an additional 50 days half pay

Teachers in second year of service: 50 days full pay; 50 days half pay

Teachers in third year of service: 75 days full pay; 75 days half pay

Teachers in fourth year of service: 100 days full pay; 100 days half pay

For the purposes of this calculation, only working days are used. So, a teacher in their fourth year of service or later is entitled to full pay for the first 100 working days of sickness, as well as full pay during any school holidays or weekends that fall during that time. Normally this extends to a total of approximately 6 months.




Am I entitled to Statutory Sick Pay (SSP)?

All teachers who earn more than £95 a week are entitled to Statutory Sick Pay.

While teachers on sick leave are receiving full pay from their employer, this includes an element of SSP. After full pay expires (i.e. after 25/50/75/100 working days depending on year of service), teachers are eligible for statutory Sick Pay of around £70 per week up until the 28th week of sickness. This includes payment on top of any half-pay allowance from the employer.

For example, a teacher in his second year of service would receive 50 working days of full pay from his employer. This might extend over 12 weeks. Thereafter, he would receive half pay from his employer for a further 50 working days and in addition, Statutory Sick Pay of around £80 for the next 16 weeks.




How do I calculate my 'year of service'?

Sick pay for teachers is related to their year of service. However, this does not relate directly to academic years. Sick Leave & Pay is based on a year from 1 April to 31 March. As such, any service undertaken during that year counts as a year of service.

For example, a newly-qualified teacher entering service on 1 September 2009 would be eligible for the first band of leave/pay during the 4 calendar months: September  - December. Thereafter, they would be eligible for the enhanced rate for the remainder of that leave year, up to 31 March.

From 1 April 2010, that newly-qualified teacher would be deemed to be in their second year of service for sick leave and pay purposes.




When do I need to provide a Doctor's certificate?

Processes for certification are set out nationally, and agreed in the Burgundy Book.

On the first day of absence you should follow your school's procedure for notifying them of your absence.

From the 4th calendar day of absence, you can be required to provide a self-completed certificate of sickness upon your return. This may be using form SC2. This will allow your employer to begin to make arrangements for the payment of Statutory Sick Pay on your behalf.

From the 8th calendar day of absence, you ca be required to provide a Doctor's certificate of sickness. From this point, you may be required to provide certificates on a regular basis to cover your absence. Certificates are normally required at the end of each month, and at the end of the period of absence as appropriate.

Note, you should not be required to provide a Doctor's Certificate for absences of less than 8 calendar days.




Does it matter that I've been out of teaching for some time?

No, all service as a teacher is aggregated for the purposes of sick leave and pay. While, clearly, further entitlement is not accrued during periods outside teaching, a teacher who, for example, had reached the 4th year of service at any point, is then always eligible for the highest rate of sick pay and leave.




Does it matter that I've changed LEA / school recently?

No, all service as a teacher in maintained schools is aggregated for the purposes of sick leave and pay. While, clearly, further entitlement is not accrued during periods outside teaching, a teacher who, for example, had reached the 4th year of service with one LEA, is then always eligible for the highest rate of sick pay and leave from any maintained post.
Note that foundation and voluntary aided schools may operate outside these conditions.




How am I affected as a part-time employee?

Entitlements to sick leave and pay are calculated on a pro-rata basis for part-time employees. For example, an employee on a 0.6 contract, working 3 days a week would be entitled to 60 days full pay and 60 days half pay, after 4 years of service.




What about weekends and holidays?

Different sections of the agreements on sick leave and pay are affected differently by weekends and holidays:

Certification:
The requirement to provide a certificate of absence after 4 days, or a Doctor's Certificate after 8 days includes all holidays and weekends. For example, a teacher who is absent from work on a Friday, and again on the following Monday can be required to provide a self-certificate of absence.

Contractual Sick Pay:
For the purposes of calculating pay, holidays and weekends are not calculated. For example, a teacher in his 5th year of service who has been absent from work for 99 days on the last day of the Summer term is entitled to continue to receive full pay throughout the summer holidays, and until the first day of term (which will count as his 100th and final day of full pay entitlement)

Statutory Sick Pay:
Statutory Sick Pay is awarded to employees during the first 28 weeks of absence. These weeks are calculated to include holidays and are based on weeks running from a Sunday.




Further Information

Further information on the provisions of the contractual agreement for sick leave and pay is available from Unions, including this document from the NUT website:

Further information on the provision of Statutory Sick Pay is available from the Direct.Gov website:

https://www.gov.uk/statutory-sick-pay