Sick Pay & Sick Benefits for Self-Employed

One of the major benefits of being self-employed is the independence it brings. You are your own boss, and you have total freedom over how, when, and where you work. But with all this freedom comes a lot of responsibility. You need to keep your own records, manage your own finances, submit your own tax returns, and more.

If you’re self-employed you can’t claim statutory sick pay

Can the Self-Employed Get Statutory Sick Pay?

There are many benefits to being self-employed. But one of the major downsides is that you are exempt from statutory sick pay and sick leave.  This means that, if you ever feel too ill to work, you could face some serious cashflow issues.

But there are alternatives to statutory sick pay for self-employed workers. And in this post, we’ll explore some of your options.

Building Your Own Fund for Sick Days

All self-employed workers must sooner or later get used to doing everything themselves. And managing your own sick pay is just one of the many responsibilities you can take on. Put aside a small amount every month for emergencies. That way, if you’re ever too ill to work, you’ll have a fund you can draw from to keep everything in order until you’re back on your feet again.

How Much Should the Self-Employed Save In Case of Illness?

How much should you put away? Well, the minimum amount of statutory sick pay an employee can receive is £96.35 a week, for up to 28 weeks. This does not mean that you need to put away £96.35 a week. But work out how much you can afford and think about the sort of expenses you’d need to meet if you were seriously ill.

Read our full guide to working out your cash inflow and outflow, for more information on the factors you’ll need to think about when making these calculations.

Government Support for Long-Term Illness

If you develop a long-term illness, you may be eligible to apply for the Employment and Support Allowance (ESA). This government scheme provides money to help with living costs if you’re unable to work due to a disability or a health condition. Though there are some eligibility requirements.

You must:

The amount of support you’ll get with ESA will depend on your personal circumstances, as well as the stage of your application. Take a look at the full government guide to ESA for an idea of how much you’ll get.

Sick Pay & Sick Benefits for the Self-Employed – Specialist Insurance

Finally, certain specialist insurance products can help support you if you’re ever too ill to work.

For example, at Tapoly we offer Personal Accident Insurance as an add-on to our Professional Indemnity Insurance policies. We also offer comprehensive health insurance policies for small businesses.

Read our full guide to sickness, illness, and injury insurance for self-employed workers.

If you have any questions or would like to discuss your options please contact our Tapoly team at, call our helpline on +44(0)2078 460 108 or try our chat on our website.