Whatever your situation, it’s as well to know what to do if you become unwell and cannot go to work.

Your employer may have rules about any extra sick pay, sometimes called ‘contractual sick pay,’ CSP.

This is sick pay your employer might pay as well as ‘statutory sick pay,’ SSP. These are both usually paid in the same way as your wages.

It is important to follow your employer’s rules to avoid breaking a term of your employment.

You should still get any statutory sick pay (SSP), but you might not get any extra sick pay or you may even lose your job.

Tell your employer straight away. Let them know when your illness started, including non-working days.

Confirm your illness in writing within seven days of telling them you’re sick. This is called self-certification and you can use the employee’s statement of sickness form on GOV.UK website.

If you get SSP, and your contract doesn’t have any rules about CSP, there are limits on what your employer can ask you to do.

For example, they cannot make you contact them more than once a week or get a doctor’s note until you’ve been sick for 7 days. Also, they cannot refuse to let someone else tell them you’re sick when you are too ill to get in touch.

Further details can be found on the Citizens Advice website including what steps you can take if your employer refuses to pay your SSP.

You should get a ‘fit note’ from the doctor if you’re sick for longer than seven days (including those you would not normally be working).

If your note says you ‘might be fit for work,’ your doctor can recommend the type of work you might be able to do. If your employer can’t make these changes, you should stay off work and continue to receive SSP.

If you’re off sick because you’re disabled, your employer has a legal duty under the Equality Act to make changes to help you return to work – these are called ‘reasonable adjustments.’

You can usually go back to work after the end date on your fit note, but check it first as your doctor may want you to have a medical check before returning.

If you need any further help call our Adviceline service on 0800 144 88 48.