When an Employee is not fit through illness or injury to work the issues that an Employer will want to consider include:-
When an Employee is off sick it is important to maintain appropriate contact with the Employee striking a balance between offering support whilst at the same time keeping informed if the Employee is off for a long a period of time. It is usually appropriate to keep them involved in informal activities like social events and sending them newsletters. The Employer will also want to keep undated on the medical condition. If an Employee is off frequently or for a long period of time then they should be encouraged to update their Employer on their medical condition.
The Employee should not be working elsewhere during their sick leave (that would normally be Gross Misconduct) though there is no bar on them pursuing leisure activities or going on holiday.
Return to work interviews are held at the Employer’s discretion. Some Employers conduct them for every absence (no matter how brief they may be) whereas others call them only after long term absences. If they are conducted it is important they are done for all Employees so that individuals don’t feel singled out. The Employer will want to think about rehabilitating an Employee into work by considering things like a phased returned to work, alteration or re-allocation of duties, re-locating a workstation, varying start and finish times or purchasing new equipment.
Long Term Absence
Some contracts provide a date on which a formal series of meetings about long term absence can commence, generally after medical evidence has been received. A usual timeframe is three to six months. It is important not to let the situation drift whilst being reasonable and sympathetic with the Employee. In cases of long term sickness it can be helpful to obtain a report from the Employee’s GP, or from an independent specialist who may be able to provide more objective information. Whilst many contracts give the right to obtain medical evidence it is still necessary to obtain the Employee’s permission for the report to be released to the Employer.
In the case of either persistent short term absences or a long term absence where there is no end in sight then the Employer will consider terminating the Contract of Employment by reason of capability. Prior to doing this, the Employer will need to meet with the Employer to discuss the situation in greater detail and explore all possible avenues and throughout any process behave reasonably. In particular, it is important to understand whether or not the Employee is suffering from a disability (as set out in the Equality Act 2010) and if so what reasonable adjustments could be made to retain them in the workforce; any failure to do this can lead to a claim for disability discrimination where compensation is unlimited
Please click on any of the links below to see our client’s testimonials.
“You will always get straight and expert advice from Holly. She’s not in the game of telling you what you want to hear, but what you must hear. She will lay out the options clearly with unswerving, unbiased professionalism so that you can clearly see the road ahead and make the right decisions”.
Simon Lowe - Jagged Globe
"I am extremely grateful for your sound advice and you have made the process of dealing with this extremely straight forward for us."
"I’ve always found Holly to be very responsive and helpful. She responds to my requests for support in a way that increases my understanding of the legislation that we have to act on and implement. Where there is scope for interpretation or options to consider she is forthcoming in highlighting these and I have always found her willing to spend time discussing these with me."
Sue Barraclough - Westfield Health
“Thank you for your understanding and support at a difficult time; you helped me negotiate a good outcome.”
“You gave us excellent advice and helped us get through some difficult discussions with this senior employee.”
These articles provide useful and updated information on different sectors of the legal industry.
Sign up for our free monthly e-newsletter. Please register your details below to receive the latest legal news and developments.
We will not share your details with any third party organisations.
Get expert legal advice from one of Sheffield’s most respected law firms, Wake Smith Solicitors.
Our team of friendly, professional solicitors in Sheffield can provide support and advice in a wide range of areas for you and your business. Call our Sheffield Solicitors on 0114 266 6660 or fill out the simple form below and we will get back to you as soon as possible.
For all media enquiries, please contact Abby Worsnip or Billy Greenhalgh at www.agentpr.co.uk.
Important – Please read our privacy notice for more information on how we use your data.
Please enter your first name.
Please enter your surname.
Please enter your address.
Please enter your contact telephone number.
Please enter your e-mail address.
Please enter a valid e-mail address.
Please enter what method you wish to be contacted via.
Please select what practice area you are interested in.
Please enter your enquiry.
Please check the box to confirm you are not a robot.
The form has been successfully submited. Thank you for your enquiry.
Monday to Friday
8:30 a.m. – 5:30 p.m.
DX: 10534 Sheffield 1
There is a large public carpark operated by NCP underneath our office building, the entrance to which is located on Solly St.
If you have any special requirements relating to accessibility or disabled facilities please contact John Liversidge on 0114 224 2075 or at firstname.lastname@example.org