Human Resources

Entitlement to Sick Pay for Variable Hours Staff


It is important that policies for Variable Hours staff reflect fair and consistent Terms and Conditions. Specifically, Variable Hours are entitled to claim Occupational Sick Pay in line with their contract of employment.

Who does this apply to?

Variable Hours staff and their managers or supervisors.

What do I need to consider?

Variable Hours staff are entitled to claim Occupational Sick Pay in line with their contract of employment, as follows:



Full Pay (calendar days)

Half Pay (calendar days)

During 1st year


61 (after completing 4 months’ service)

During 2nd year



During 3rd year



During 4th & successive years




An individual’s entitlement is calculated by deducting their absences due to illness during the twelve months immediately preceding the first day of absence from the Occupational Sick Pay entitlement according to their length of service. For example, an individual who has been employed for two years and who has two periods of sickness absence, each of 12 days, during the previous 12 months will have 98 days full pay entitlement remaining (equal to 122 minus 2 lots of 12).

Variable Hours staff can claim Occupational Sick Pay only for the hours they would have worked on the days for which they are absent.

Statutory Sick Pay

Variable Hours staff may also have an entitlement to Statutory Sick Pay (SSP) if they satisfy the conditions prescribed by the Department of Work and Pensions. To qualify for SSP, the Government’s Statutory Sick Pay eligibility criteria must be met. Individuals would only need to claim SSP if their Occupational Sick Pay entitlement were to fall below the level of their SSP entitlement.

What do I need to do?

Provided a Variable Hours staff member has contacted their manager or supervisor to say they are unwell and can't come into work, they can claim Occupational Sick Pay for the hours they were asked to work according to their entitlement. The timesheet should include the hours they would have worked on the day they were sick and recorded as 'sickness'.

If the absence continues beyond seven calendar days, they must produce a doctor's statement.

What else do I need to know?

The links below include additional guidance on sickness entitlement:

How do I get help?

Use this contact form to get in touch.