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Statutory Sick Pay for Clergy

Statutory Sick Pay (SSP) is money paid by employers to employees who are away from work because they are sick. 

Notifying Absence

If on any day you are unable to perform your duties due to illness, you must notify the Finance Officer who oversees clergy stipends (currently James South) by e-mail ( or by phone (01603 882347 – an answering machine is available) on the first day of illness.

You must then notify the same person by a similar route on the first day on which you resume your duties. It is good practice to alert at least one Churchwarden and the Rural Dean too. Except in mild cases of short term illness, the relevant Bishop or Archdeacon will also normally be notified so that appropriate care and support can be offered.

Documentation required for periods of Sickness Absence

Depending on the amount of time you are absent from your duties, you will be required to complete one of the following:

  • Absences of seven or fewer days – A self-certification form, which will be sent to you by email once you have informed the Accounts Officer of your return to duty, alternatively, you can download the form directly from the government website by clicking here.
  • Absences of eight or more continuous days – You must submit a Statement of Fitness for work certificate (from a doctor) as soon as possible, for the attention of the Diocesan Secretary. If you are absent beyond the date of the certificate, then further certificates will be required covering all absences until you resume formal ministry.

When this information is received by Diocesan House a copy is put on your file and the period of absence noted for the purpose of complying with the discretionary sick pay scheme. The Church Commissioners are then sent the original form as they are responsible for monitoring statutory sick pay.