[Updated Wed 2nd September 2015]
Statutory Sick Pay - sometimes called Statutory Sickness Benefits - is paid to any employee who is not able to work owing to sickness. Your employer has to pay it to you for up to 28 weeks - the weekly rate is £88.45. That is a set rate for the government's SSP - you cannot be paid less than that - or more.
There is a limit of 28 weeks in total. You will not receive SSP after you have reached that limit. You will need to apply for ESA - Employment Support Allowance.
It does not matter how much you are normally paid, SSP is set at that figure. If your employer pays you less - or more by way of this sick pay, they are breaking the law. It is possible that your employer has their own sickness payment scheme in addition to or instead of the government's scheme. If so, you should have been made aware of that at the time of your employment, or in any updating of your conditions of work.
That is the law. It does not matter what type of illness you have. If you cannot work because of it, then you are entitled to SSP - Statutory Sick Pay - Sickness Benefit -providing that you are eligible. (Updated 2nd September 2015). You can also get SSP if you are sick whilst on holiday from work.
You will not get paid SSP for the first three days of any sickness period, unless you have already been claiming SSP at some other time in the previous 8 weeks and you now find that you are sick again.
If for any reason you are not eligible for SSP, then you should be able to apply for Employment and Support Allowance.
This is also the case if you are still sick after the 28 weeks SSP period. You will need the SSP1 form from your employer to be able to do this. Be prepared if for instance you are in week 23 or week 24 and still expect to be off sick after the statutory 28 weeks. You will not receive SSP
SSP is paid on a daily basis, and paid for the days you would normally work. This may include some weekend days if that is part of your contract of employment. The SSP Sickness Benefit is NOT paid for the first three days of any absence from working. If you are off work for two periods of more than four days in any eight weeks, then there is no 'waiting period' for the second period of sickness.
Rate of SSP From April 6th 2014 to 5th April 2015, the weekly rate of Statutory Sick Pay (SSP sickness benefits) is set at £87.55. It will be worked out by your employer on a daily basis - taking into account your normal working days in the week. The week starts on Sundays for SSP.
Payment You will get your SSP in your normal wages packet - either monthly or weekly, depending upon how you are paid. If you are only receiving SSP with no other earnings, then the will not normally be any tax to be paid. However, if you receive other earnings, then there may be a deduction of income tax and national insurance.