SSP guidance updated: rules for agency workers including airmen and continental shelf workers
13 September 2021
HMRC has updated its guidance on Statutory Sick Pay (SSP) for employers.
The guidance pages now provide additional information regarding SSP rules for agency workers, including airmen and continental shelf workers.
Agency workers can be categorised as being workers, employees or as being self-employed.
Those who are categorised as being employed earners, who meet other qualifying conditions are eligible for SSP. Agency workers engaged under a contract of employment or otherwise supplied by agencies to work under the supervision, direction and control of a client will meet the definition of being employed earners.
Agency workers who hold overarching contracts which continue between assignments are entitled to SSP for the entire period of incapacity until their contract ends or entitlement to SSP ends for another reason. They must, however, be classed as employed earners and meet the qualifying conditions. The same applies to agency workers whose contract does not continue between assignments.
Agency workers who are employed earners and meet the qualifying conditions are eligible for SSP from the first day they complete some work under their contract. For agency workers with an agreed future assignment which will commence no later than eight weeks after the end of the current assignment, entitlement to SSP will arise from day one of that future assignment, as though it were the same assignment.
Self-employed agency workers are not eligible for SSP.
An individual employed as an airman will be classed as an employee for the purposes of SSP if their employer (or person paying them earnings relating to the employment), or the person under whose direction the terms of the airman’s employment and earnings are determined either:
• In the case of the aircraft being a British aircraft, has a place of business in Great Britain
• In any other case, has their principal place of business in Great Britain
In these cases, the person is treated as an employee for SSP purposes even if they are not employed in Great Britain.
An airman will not be eligible for SSP if they are not domiciled, and have no place of residence, in Great Britain (unless there is a relevant reciprocal agreement between the UK and another country which applies to the relevant airman.)
Continental shelf workers
A person employed as a continental shelf worker in a prescribed area will be treated as an employee for the purposes of SSP even if they are not employed in Great Britain. They will therefore be eligible for SSP if they meet the other qualifying conditions.
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