Someone I work with (in the UK) is salaried by definition of their contract. They used to get a flat rate at the end of each month, lets say £2000 or thereabouts.

A new owner has come in and said that sick days will be taken off their pay unless they make those up elsewhere. So the worker has three choices if they are off a day due to illness, they can either have their pay reduced, they can do an extra day at some other point in the month or they can use some of their holiday to cover the illness so they get paid their usual amount.

If they work beyond what is expected of them, they get no overtime as they are salaried.

The contract they have signed doesn't say they get sick pay, just SSP, but to me this seems to be wrong given they are meant to be salaried.

To me this seems like a lose-lose situation for the worker and I'm wondering if it is at all legal?

Thanks Rabidbean

  • Is "The contract they have signed" referring to the one they signed with the original owners when they first started, or a new contract they've signed with the new owner?
    – TripeHound
    Jun 29, 2023 at 15:32

1 Answer 1


This is legal

Employees are not legally entitled to receive their salary whilst off sick. However, if the employee is ill for 4 or more days (including weekends), they would be entitled to Statutory Sick Pay.

However …

It’s possible their contract has been varied by tacit agreement with the previous owner if they were routinely paid for sick time. If so, the varied contract would bind the new owner.

However, waivers and variations by conduct of contracts are a tricky area of law and difficult to prove particularly if they flat-out contradict a written contract.

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