Illness at Work Advice

If you are not well enough to be at work and have been absent or likely to be off for a considerable time, your employer may be able to fairly end your employment on capability grounds.

Danielle Wright

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Your employer will need to follow a fair procedure and should only make their decision after getting an up-to-date medical report and consulting with you and consider whether there are any alternatives or adjustments should be made.

Can my employer dismiss me if they think I'm not well enough to work?

Wherever you are, we can help assess whether your employer is behaving fairly.

You will usually need to have been with your employer for at least two years to claim unfair dismissal. If you do not qualify then your employee can generally dismiss you without fear of a claim being made unless you have a disability.

We will guide you and get you ready for your meetings at work to give you the best chance possible of staying in your job. If you would rather not return, we can advise you and help negotiate an exit package including ill health retirement. If you have been dismissed, we can advise you of your options including negotiating a settlement or issuing a claim in a Tribunal but you need to act quickly.

Employment law has strict time limits. Good cases can be lost before they even start through hesitation or delay. In most cases you will have just three months from the date your employment ends to notify Acas of a potential claim for unfair dismissal. It is important you get in contact with us as soon as you possible so we can help before it is too late. Find out how we can help you with our fixed fee ACAS Early Conciliation service.

Spencers Solicitors also specialise in personal injury claims. You can get in touch with us online here or call us on 08000 93 00 94 and let us know what happened.

Should I be paid sick pay in the event of being unable to work?

In most cases, your contract of employment will set out your rights to sick pay. There is no absolute entitlement to enhanced company sick pay, as this will usually be at your employer's discretion.

Statutory Sick Pay (SSP) is usually limited to 28 weeks. As from April 2022, SSP is paid at £99.35 per week and is payable when you have been sick for at least 4 days in a row (including non-working days). In most cases SSP is not paid for the first 3 working days you are off sick but there are some exceptions to this. Not all employees are entitled to SSP in all circumstances. Please note the weekly rate of SSP increases annually in April.

What if I am sick whilst on holiday?

If you become sick during holiday leave, you are entitled to rearrange it with your employer for another date later in the year. In effect, this means you will not lose you holiday because you were ill.

You will still need to follow normal sickness absence procedures, for example, reporting to your line manager or obtaining medical evidence of your illness.

Can I be forced to take holiday when off sick?

No, you cannot be forced to take holiday while you are sick. This includes where you become ill during a holiday.

Do I continue to accrue holiday while on sick leave?

Yes. Sick leave and holiday leave have different functions - sick leave is to recover from illness, holiday is for rest, relaxation and leisure.

Can I carry unused holiday over to the next holiday year if ill?

Yes, you can carry forward some holiday into the next and subsequent holiday years if you were not well enough to take holiday leave at the time.

Have you any other questions?

Our specialist teams are on hand to provide advice and guidance regarding any claim which you may have. To get in touch, call us on 01246 266867 or fill in our online claim enquiry form and our advisors will be in touch.

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