Umbrella Sick Pay & Other Statutory Rights

Umbrella Sick Pay: What can you claim?

Qualifying for statutory benefits like sick pay is often a huge appeal for contractors, acting as a secure safety net should the unexpected occur.

To ensure that every umbrella contractor is receiving what they are entitled to, Umbrella Supermarket has put together this handy guide on umbrella company sick pay and other benefits, so you know what you can receive and when.

Who is entitled to umbrella company sick pay?

In the UK, most employees are entitled to statutory sick pay if they are too ill to work. This is paid by an employer for up to 28 weeks.

To qualify you must:

  • Be classed as an employee
  • Earn an average of £120 per week before tax and National Insurance. This is worked out over an 8-week period. Don’t worry if you have only recently started your contract as you can still qualify for sick leave

For umbrella contractors, because they are made employees of their chosen company, they automatically qualify for statutory sick pay. This means that every contractor operating through an umbrella company is entitled to paid sick leave granted they meet the criteria as outlined above.

This is in contrast to the likes of limited company contractors who are self-employed. These contractors will not receive statutory sick pay and instead, if they fall ill, will have to cover the costs out of their own pockets.

How much can you claim?

The current amount paid to employees that are too ill to work is £95.85 per week.

When are you eligible for umbrella sick pay?

Any contractor that has been ill for 4 consecutive days, including over weekends, can qualify for umbrella sick pay. However, you will only be paid for the days you would have been in work, these are also called qualifying days. So, if you don’t usually work weekends, you would not be paid for this time.

You must notify the umbrella company of your illness within 7 days. If you are sick for longer than a week, you will then need to provide a sick note from your doctor or GP.

You will not be able to claim umbrella sick pay if:

  • You are already receiving statutory maternity or paternity pay
  • You have already received the maximum of 28 weeks’ worth of sick pay
  • You are self-isolating during the pandemic only because of the fact that you have entered or returned to the UK and don’t need to isolate for any other reason

Can you receive umbrella sick pay if you have to self-isolate?

Many workers have been impacted by the current global pandemic and contractors are no exception. After all, if you fall ill, have covid-19 symptoms or encounter someone with symptoms, you will be required to self-isolate for at least 10 days.

The good news is that umbrella contractors required to self-isolate will be eligible for statutory sick pay. So, if this does happen to you, you can rest assured that you will receive help and support in the form of umbrella sick pay.

What other statutory benefits can you receive?

Not only can umbrella contractors claim sick pay, they also have a host of other statutory benefits available to them.

Firstly, umbrella contractors can claim paid holiday leave.

Under UK law, umbrella contractors that work full-time are entitled to a minimum of 5.6 weeks’ paid holiday. If you work part-time, this is worked out pro-rata.  The amount of holiday pay you will receive is in line with your basic rate of pay. For contractors, this is what you are paid by the umbrella company, not what you charge the client.

Another statutory benefit umbrella contractors can claim is maternity or paternity leave.

For maternity leave, in the first 6 weeks, you will be paid 90% of your average weekly pay. After this, for the next 33 weeks, you will be paid either 90% or your average weekly pay or £151.20 per week, depending on which figure is lowest.

For paternity leave, you can take 1-2 weeks’ paid leave which is also set at 90% of your weekly pay or £151.20 depending on which is lowest.

Receiving statutory benefits such as sick pay, holiday pay and maternity or paternity leave under an umbrella company is a big selling point for thousands of contracts.

After all, it offers a level of security and safety they would otherwise not receive if they were contracting through a limited company. What’s more, an umbrella company takes on many of the difficult tasks of contracting such as invoicing clients, working out and paying tax and processing invoices.

If you have decided that operating through an umbrella company is the best way forward for you, next you will need to choose a company to work with. Don’t worry, Umbrella Supermarket are here to help.

Use Umbrella Supermarket’s umbrella calculator to find the best umbrella company

As more and more contractors have opted to use the services of an umbrella company, more and more companies have opened up to cater for demand. Although this is great as it gives you lots of choice, it can also make it difficult to know which company will be best suited to your needs.

That’s why our award-winning umbrella calculator makes it quick and easy to compare umbrella companies based on your requirements. Simply enter a couple of details, let us know your preferences and we will generate a list of the best-suited companies for you. Ready to see what Umbrella Supermarket can do for you today?

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To help make the decision that little bit easier, in this guide Umbrella Supermarket outline the key differences between limited vs umbrella, so you can get on the right track.

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