Working hours: benefits rules - Calculating work hours: Sick Leave
Benefit entitlement can depend on how many hours of paid work you do per week.
- Last reviewed 01 November 2023
Calculating work hours: Sick Leave
Income Support or Employment and Support Allowance
You are not treated as being in full time paid work - even if you are a full time worker under your employment contract - if you are absent from work because you are sick.
Working Tax Credit
If you are within the first 28 weeks of a period of sick leave from work, and are receiving a sickness benefit such as Statutory Sick Pay (SSP) , you continue to be classed as working the same number of hours you were working immediately before the period of sick leave began.
If you are self-employed and have been off work for less than 28 weeks due to sickness, like an employee you can continue to be classed as working the same number of hours you were working immediately before the leave began.
If you don't return to work at the end of your sick leave, you will no longer count as being in paid work.
Working hours do not affect Universal Credit. If you are unwell for a short period of time, this may not affect your Universal Credit payments. If you have a fit note for 29 days or more, you may be referred for a Work Capability Assessment.
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