Do Apprentices Get Sick Pay?

If you're an apprentice wondering which workplace rights and benefits you're entitled to, we're here to shed some light on whether you're eligible for sick pay.

Written byHolly Barrow
Published on
Read time4 min read

If you’re an apprentice, you may be wondering which rights and benefits you’re entitled to throughout your training, from sick pay to annual leave entitlement. 

To help make things a little clearer, we’re here to explore all things apprenticeships and sick pay, including whether apprentices get sick pay, how much you may be entitled to, and what may disqualify apprentices from receiving sick pay. 


What is sick pay?

First off, let’s answer the basics… 

In the UK, ‘sick pay’ is the name given to money paid to you by your employer if you’re unable to work due to sickness. 

There are two types of sick pay: Statutory Sick Pay and Occupational or Company Sick Pay. 

What is Statutory Sick Pay?

Statutory Sick Pay is the minimum amount of sick pay employers must pay to those who are eligible and is paid for up to 28 weeks. 

To qualify for Statutory Sick Pay, employees must: 

  • Have been absent with sickness for at least 4 ‘qualifying days’ in a row - i.e. days when they would usually be required to work

  • Earn on average £123 minimum per week before tax 

  • Have informed their employer that they’re sick within any deadline the employer may have set or within 7 days


This eligibility criteria applies to apprentices as well as agency, casual and zero-hours workers. 

You may be required to give proof of sickness in the form of a ‘fit note’ or ‘sick note’, which is a statement provided by a registered healthcare professional giving their medical opinion on a person's fitness for work.

It’s important to note that SSP covers both physical and mental illness. 

What is Occupational Sick Pay?

Occupational or company sick pay is any sick pay that an employer chooses to offer above and beyond the legal minimum set out by SSP. 

Whereas SSP is limited to £109.40 per week for up to 28 weeks, occupational sick pay goes beyond this. For example, an employer may offer to pay an absent employee their full pay for a set amount of time, such as up to 6 months, followed by a percentage of their salary from that point on. 

Essentially, if your employer offers occupational sick pay (and you meet the eligibility criteria), this is typically more generous than SSP so is an advantage! 


Statutory Sick Pay for apprentices

As an apprentice, you’ll have the same right to SSP as any other regular employee as long as you meet the criteria outlined above, meaning you can receive £109.40 per week for a maximum of 28 weeks. You must have an employment contract, have done some work under this contract, earn an average of at least £123 per week and have been off work sick for at least four consecutive days to qualify for SSP. 

If you’re absent for more than seven days, you may need to provide a sick note to your employer. 

What other benefits are apprentices entitled to?

As an apprentice, you get the same minimum entitlements as other employees under the Working Time Regulations 1998. 

You’ll receive:

  • Statutory Sick Pay 

  • Holiday pay and entitlement 

  • Rest breaks

  • The same maternity, adoption, paternity and shared parental leave rights as other employees

  • The same rights to dependency leave as other employees

  • The right to request flexible working or the right to unpaid parental leave

  • Auto-enrolment into your employer’s pensions scheme if your earnings are high enough


Discounts for apprentices

Wondering how you can save money whilst embarking on your apprenticeship? 

Apprentices can often earn less than other employees, so we know just how important it is to make every penny you spend go further. 

With TOTUM Apprentice, you’ll get access to hundreds of discounts with major brands across the UK, from Boots and Co-op to ASOS and Apple. 

You’ll also bag yourself a FREE tastecard for every year’s TOTUM membership purchased, meaning you’ll make huge savings when you dine out at thousands of UK restaurants as well as on days out, cinema tickets and more...

For more tips, tricks and advice on apprenticeships, check out our other guides:

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Sign up for FREE, download the TOTUM app, and enjoy the latest offers, vouchers, coupons and more at your fingertips. Find out more.

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