Sick pay for teachers


You may be unsure about your entitlement to sick pay as a teacher. Your entitlement to sick pay and sick leave for teachers in the maintained sector is set out in the Burgundy Book.

Where academies have transferred staff from the maintained sector under the Transfer of Undertakings (Protection of Employment) Regulations, (TUPE), the Burgundy Book will form part of their contracts of employment.

Each academy can decide whether to continue to incorporate the Burgundy Book into the contracts of new starters or not, or whether to incorporate part of it but not others.

Independent schools may set their own sick pay schemes but many will follow the Burgundy Book.

In this article, we look at the details set out in the Burgundy Book. We would also recommend familiarising yourself with your own school’s policy on sickness absence for further details.

What is the Burgundy Book?

The Burgundy Book is a handbook detailing all the national conditions of service for schools teachers in England and Wales, covering additional terms including notice periods, retirement, sick pay, maternity and other leave and insurance provisions.

There are also appendices covering arrangements between local authorities and teachers’ organisations.

What is my entitlement to sick pay?

Teachers’ national sick pay entitlements are based on a sliding scale according to their length of service.

  • First year of service: full pay for 25 working days, and after completing four calendar months’ service, half pay for 50 working days
  • Second year of service: full pay for 50 working days and then half pay for 50 working days
  • Third year of service: full pay for 75 days and half pay for 75 working days
  • Fourth and subsequent years: full pay for 100 working days and half pay for 100 working days

Working days count as the standard Monday – Friday and do not include weekends and holidays.

Additional questions

If you are unsure about your entitlement to sick pay or are concerned about upcoming payments you can contact us for further support.

We have also published additional support articles on the topic of sick notes and sickness absence procedures.

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The information contained within this article is not a complete or final statement of the law.
While Edapt has sought to ensure that the information is accurate and up-to-date, it is not responsible and will not be held liable for any inaccuracies and their consequences, including any loss arising from relying on this information. This article may contain information sourced from public sector bodies and licensed under the Open Government Licence. If you are an Edapt subscriber with an employment-related issue, please contact us and we will be able to refer you to one of our caseworkers.