Agency worker sick pay insurance. Broker help & Advice.

Agency Workers Sickpay MSE

Do Agency Workers get Sick Pay” 😓?


no sick pay agency worker
Can Agency Workers Get Sick Pay | Got Money Issues If Sick & Off Work?
Do agency workers get sick pay uk ?

What is an Agency Worker?

In today’s busy world of work many people are now looking for “agency work near me”. But what is an agency worker?

You are classed as an agency worker if your work contract is via an employment agency. This agency then may place you for work, usually for a temporary period or assignment with a company eg; 3 or 6 months per contract.

The employment agency however might then also use an ‘umbrella company’ for processing your timesheets and wages.

Note: Be careful re tax non compliance here & also check with HMRC tax rules on umbrella companies to avoid complications, as this may affect any future employment.

If you have this arrangement, you could usually be classed as an employee of that UK umbrella company. Check out: Agency Worker Regulations: Myths & Facts

Note: Although you may work through an Agency and may not be employed legally first hand via the people you currently work alongside, you do still have workers rights as an employee. But are they enough for sickpay?

According to Government website on agency worker pay rights, you are entitled to just the National Minimum Wage only for all the hours you work, even if you have not recorded them on a time-sheet.

After 12 weeks they state Agency working means you are entitled to be paid the same as a permanent employee doing the same job eg; London assembly.

Let’s examine various issues of the job role & then how it may effect taking out “Agency Worker Sick Pay” Income Protection or Critical illness Life Insurance.

No Agency Staff Sick Pay? Get Income Insurance


Income Protection Insurance

Is an Agency Worker entitled to Sick Pay?

For Agency Workers’ Rights, if you mean full sickness paid cover for your full salaried work hours, the answer is usually No to any ‘agency sick pay’ (other than maybe statutory sick pay SSP, which only amounts to around £100pw).

Note: Re Agency Worker sick pay entitlement (SSP) this is usually not paid for the first 3 days that you are on sick leave if asking is an agency worker entitled to occupational sick pay? These are called ‘waiting days’ these rules on agency staff sick pay were changed temporarily for the duration of the covid pandemic.

Are Agency Workers entitled to Sick Pay?

'agency worker sick pay' |  agency staff sick pay insurance

Agency Workers Regulation & Agency Workers’ Rights

Umbrella Agency Workers – More rights after 12 weeks

You do get more rights if you have worked on the same assignment, via the same hiring organisation, for 12 weeks or more. This is called the ’12-week minimum qualifying period’ under UK law. 

However, your status could still be equivalent to zero hours contract, so you need to understand your legal agency worker rights.

How to claim Statutory Sick Pay Agency Worker?

How to claim statutory sick pay agency worker, probably your first point of contact will be speak to your employers & agency personnel department for help. Then following your current rules for getting SSP & view the staff handbook rules.

If you work for an employer via an umbrella agency, you can usually get SSP Statutory Sick pay if you:

  • Have already started work with your employer
  • Been off sick for 4 full days or more now in a row (include any non-working days)
  • Earn minimum £123 a week on average, before UK tax

Agency Worker hours

Since 10/2011, temporary agency workers are entitled to equal treatment on working time with as a comparable direct hire employed by the hirer to do the same job.

You have the right not to work more than 48 hours a week. This working rights can be changed should you choose to sign an agreement with the agency saying that you are willing to work longer hours. However, this time limit is averaged over a 17-week period.

Regular nightworkers should not work more than 8 hours in each 24-hour period. 

Umbrella Agency | Statutory Sick Pay Agency Workers?

Agency Worker Sick Pay Insurance Quotes 15 secs. Broker help.

Do Agency pay Sick Pay?

Do agency workers get sick pay uk benefits? If you’re an agency or casual worker and you’re working on a temporary assignment when you get ill, you might only be entitled to Government SSP until that assignment, or an agreed future one ends.

Most Agency Worker cannot get by on any limited government benefits…the figures will not add up if you perhaps think can agency workers get sick pay and still pay all your bills.

Can Agency Workers get Sick Pay?

agency working & sickpay illness insurance

If you are off with any longer term illness & then checking up ‘does agency pay sick pay,’ you will find you probably need to make arrangements for yourself or rely on your savings and investments.

So for most sick pay agency workers uk benefits are limited here….so for some people it won’t happen to me attitude in life could cause you financial woes if off sick longer term.

You may need to have your own sickness insurance back up plan instead, rather than rely on any basic agency workers sick pay entitlement.

Statutory Sick Pay for Agency Workers?

If you’re not working when you get ill, you may not be entitled to any SSP ‘statutory sick pay agency workers’ claim. So, you may not have access to any employer occupational sponsored sick pay arrangements.

Being an Agency Worker can be both a mentally challenging choice, as well as sometimes physical. During the Pandemic, many agency staff worked in the care sector.

As such, for help keeping the country safe as key workers during that difficult time goes a big thank you review

So, nobody wants to be negative and think about being off work sick or having an accident say injuring your feet or hands. Unfortunately, many Agency Worker themselves do suffer from some form of injury or illness during their working life and therefore insurers may risk this occupation accordingly. 

In conclusion here re Agency Workers rights sick pay, if you are off sick for any longer term, the financial buck will usually stop with you!

Do Agency Workers get Sick Pay UK?

Agency Staff and Sick Pay
* source thesaurus plus

Income Protection Insurance PHI | ‘Sick Pay Agency Workers’

Typical Key Features

  • Designed to pay out Tax Free Income to cover lost salary/wages as your ‘Agency Worker Sick Pay’
  • Usually has an initial waiting or deferred / waiting period from 1/4/8/13/26/52 weeks 
  • During Pandemic 2020’s, some Insurers have removed their shorter 1 week deferral periods
  • PHI benefits are currently paid out tax free on claim until you return to work or plan end date
  • Insurers Plans can usually run upto state pension ages or some upto age 70
  • Income Insurance Benefits may be level or inflation linked from outset or claim
  • Medical evidence is usually required for underwritten insurance before any terms offered
  • Cover may be based on maximum of say 65% of your gross annual earnings
  • Waiver of Premium so you do not have to pay the premiums in claim
  • Agency Life Insurance Death benefits if included may just mean a lump sum sufficient for funeral costs or return of some premiums

Note: Insurers will also need you to either proove your agency workers monthly income (as you cannot be better off sick than well). Or they request that you were working more than a set numbers of hours to qualify for “Agency Worker Sick Pay” Insurance cover.

2 Types of Income ‘Agency Work Sick Pay’ Insurance

Comprehensive Income Cover

  • Covers you until you either go back to work …or maybe never go back to work
  • Protects you on an ‘own occupation basis’ re sick pay and agency workers
  • Premiums may be fixed none-reviewable

Budget Income Cover

  • Budget cover may only payout per claim for upto say 12 | 24 | 60 months (ie; limited term)
  • Premiums may be annually age costed / 5 yearly reviewable
  • Invariably this type of plan is initially alot cheaper but will cost more in the future

Agency Working & Multi Agency: Income Back Up Plan

Sick Pay Insurance

*Martin Lewis on Sick Pay Agency Workers?

martin lewis sick pay agency workers income protection

Money Saving Expert Martin Lewis says the Pandemic has made many of us realise that serious illness can hit at any time & when we least expect it.

MSE says there is some Government sick pay support available in their review, if you’re too unwell to work. Martin Lewis explains these benefits are Statutory Sick Pay & Contractual Sick Pay.

Then support, if you are not entitled to any sick pay agency workers could get, like claiming for Universal Credit & ESA.

Having to take time off work they agree can be stressful both emotionally & financially hit your back pocket. That applies whether employed full hours working for an agency sick pay concerns, temp agency sick pay or only on a zero hours contract.

In the MSE Sick Pay guide they look at therefore mainly on what Government Benefits you maybe entitled to, and how to claim it.

Elsewhere on their website they review the main types of sick pay insurance alternatives cover available, if you get a serious illness or injury and therefore can’t work.

The MoneySavingExpert review says that income protection generally includes a much greater range of illnesses than critical illness cover, but it can be more expensive.

Martin Lewis therefore comments on the value of worth looking at Income Protection Insurance to help out eg; Agency Workers

Martin Lewis concludes that it may cover all your essential monthly spending if you’re unable to work due to illness or disability for a set period (generally a year or two). 

Unsure here if he means that the income protection policy only covers you for a year or two (which some cheaper policies do but more expensive one pay full term)…or you are off sick from agency work for a year or two.

MSE says YES Income Protection Insurance can be a Financial Lifeline SO the ultimate choice is always yours if the monthly cost’s worth it. Agency Workers sickpay is also a debated topic on the MSE Forums.

In terms of the large range of income sickness Insurance products available, Money Saving Expert are fully impartial with all their best buy reviews. As you maybe aware, neither Martin nor MSE never endorse products.

Note: Yes, they mention individual products & services on MSE site, but they make it very clear don’t ‘support’ them.

In general, Martin Lewis says you will often find the “Cheapest Quotes by going to a Broker” & NOT via Comparison Sites.

Martin Lewis also suggests being the Money Expert “NEVER BLINDLY BUY DIRECT” expensive policy offers either via a Bank or One Insurer ie; Shop around or use a Broker.

‘Sick Pay Agency Worker’ | Insurance Underwriting & Health Issues

You pay a monthly premium throughout the term of the “Income Sickness Insurance” policy. Cost for an agency worker depends mainly on:

# Your Age – at the time you start the policy ie; older people are more likely to suffer an illness, so pay more
# Your Gender – being male or female no longer affects rates wef 2012 via income providers
# Your Health – at the time you start the policy. If your health is poor eg; raised BMI kg, blood pressure or cholesterol you may have to pay more, have exclusions or even be refused sickness cover
# Your Occupation – some agency worker jobs are more likely than others to contribute towards illness
# Hobbies and lifestyle – for example, rock climbing is high risk, so you’ll pay more.
# Smoker Status – just quit smoking so you’ll still pay smoker rates as still more likely to make a claim
# Waiting period – once you claim, there is a delay before payments start.

You can choose how long this ‘wait period’ is eg; from 4 weeks and this maybe dependant upon your exact agency worker occupation. Also, you may have a savings net to fall back on anyway shorter term?

The longer this waiting period, eg; 13 weeks, the less you may pay for Agency Worker Sick Pay Insurance.

agency workers sick pay cover

What does Income Protection Cost?

Well, that’s the million pound question if considering ‘agency worker sick pay’ income protection.

For example: If you are aged 30 and earning £30,000pa salary and then worked for the next 35 years until say retirement. You could now potentially earn over £1 million gross ie; £30,000pa x 35 years [or more with any future inflation wage rises].

As such, feel free to do you own agency worker sick pay income protection quote – to then value what your income is worth to your family lifestyle and bills if off longer term sick?

MSE Martin Lewis comments on the value of having Income Protection insurance…as Critical Illness is not a catch all policy

Covid Vaccines re ‘Sick Pay for Agency Workers’ Insurance

  • Insurers may ask in the last 3 months have you tested positive, been hospitalized or had recent contact with anyone with symptoms
  • If so you may have to await your full recovery and be fully OK before you can re-apply for insurance
  • Standard rates will apply after any self-isolation periods & assuming no other ongoing health complications
  • Any refusal to be vaccinated, will not affect consideration payment of an insurance claim re agency worker sick pay rights
  • Receiving a COVID-19 vaccination & getting side effects Insurers say currently will be treated as any other claims
  • Income insurance cover may have amended terms if asking do agency staff get sick pay re Covid history of hospitalization

Agency Workers Statutory Sick Pay

Agency Worker Sick Pay Insurance Cover

What happens when I return to agency work after a claim?

  • Policy monthly benefits stop after you go back to normal agency work, as will any premium waiver
  • The insurance plan is still active & you will continue to pay your premiums
  • Some Insurers may then pay a reduced or proportional benefit if you cannot do exactly what job you were doing before as an agency worker
  • This takes account of any earnings loss or reduction due to your illness or injury affecting family life
  • It could be you are in a different occupation also because of your incapacity. Or have to do reduced work hours or restricted your duties.
  • Note: there is usually no limit to the number of claims you can make during your agency working life

Agency Workers | Critical Illness instead? 

Critical illness cover pays out a tax-free sum if you are diagnosed with various life-threatening conditions eg; specified cancers, heart attack, stroke, ms etc; as listed in the policy.

For some, checking up can temporary workers get sick pay then if getting any limited employer cover, it is a different alternative to Income Insurance with Critical Illness Lump Sums or Family Income Benefits options.

But there are lots of common situations when it would not pay out & to help your ‘agency worker sick pay’ situation. For example, if you were unable to work due to back problems or maybe a stress-related illness.

Additionally, not all occurrences of the critical illness Martin Lewis says headline listed by Insurers are covered. For example; some lesser forms / early stages of non-invasive cancers maybe not covered by some plans.

Note: Lifecover and critical illness cover should not be confused with terminal illness. Terminal illness benefit is usually automatically included within a life insurance policy and means you will not survive, as you cannot sadly be cured.

Chances of making a claim Statutory Sick Pay | Agency Worker Sick Pay
Income Protection = Claim 1 in 4 = During Agency Working Lifetime*Stats increasing re Covid19

Agency Workers Life Insurance

Most employers may also not offer you any Agency Life Insurance either. If fully employed, often some employers may offer their staff some death in service benefits, which pays out a multiple x of their annual salary.

However, being agency staff you are probably not entitled to any life cover either – alongside any lack of employee agency sickpay.

Unsure how much Life Insurance agency cover you may need?

As a pointer, Martin Lewis on life insurance suggests after repayment of any mortgage for agency workers uk loans or any debts using their money saving expert guidance of ‘THE 10 x RULE’

He says aim to cover 10 x the Annual income of the highest earner or the main breadwinner until at least any kids have finished their full-time education. 

Can Agency Workers get a Mortgage?

Alongside sickpay cover, one question we often also get asked in 2024 as brokers is ‘Can Agency Workers get Mortgages’?

The question is asked because of the nature of your irregular income being sometimes intermittent between various temporary agency contracts.

As such, you may be required to contribute a bigger deposit down payment, than those maybe in full-time permanent employment.

Therefore, some mortgage lenders are willing to only offer upto maximum loans to value of 75/80%. Unsure, please contact us – Mortgage Broker support >

mortgage broker whole of market

‘Agency Sick Pay’ Conclusion

If your budget allows this, as brokers we may suggest you ideally consider that you should have both income protection & critical illness plans for your ‘Sick Pay Agency Worker’ backup cover.

For more information on this, check up on your own agency worker regulations sick pay T&C’s. Once done then please talk to our professional brokers here about your ideal agency working protection solutions.

Article on ‘Agency Workers Sick Pay’ by Martyn Spencer Financial Adviser (2024)

For reassurance re health for men & women we review many of the best brands selling Income Protection & Life Insurance in UK (inc NI)