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Top 5 Sick Leave Questions Answered

1. Can an employee who was sick on holiday ask for holiday to be rescheduled?

Yes -This means that employees who are sick during holiday leave are entitled to ask their employer to reschedule their holiday.

2. How long does an employee have to be off sick before I can ask for a Doctor’s (Fit) note?

If they are off sick for more than 7 days, you can ask them to provide a Fit note from their GP. The 7 days includes days that they don’t normally work including weekends and bank holidays.

3. Do I have to pay my employees for every sick day?

This depends on your employees’ contract of employment. Some employers pay full pay when an employee is off sick, up to a certain number of days per annum. If you don’t offer this then they are entitled to statutory sick pay (SSP). SSP is paid when employees are off sick for at least 4 days in a row (including non-working days). You start paying SSP from the 4th day.

4. Can I dismiss an employee who is on long-term sick leave?

Yes – Dismissal on the grounds of incapability through ill-health is a potentially fair reason for dismissal, however, the employer needs to be able to demonstrate that they have acted reasonably in reaching the decision to dismiss. Advice should be sought when dealing with this situation. We would also recommend that the company has a Capability (Long-term illness) Policy in their Employee Handbooks.

5. Can employees on long term sick leave carry unused holiday over to the next holiday year?

Yes. If employees have been unable to take holiday during a holiday year because they have been absent on sick leave, they are entitled to carry over that holiday (up to a maximum of four weeks) into the following holiday year.

If you would like further advice on sick leave and pay or would like information on contracts of employment and employee handbooks, please contact Nichola Coulthard at 07946 541 606.

Coulthard Human Resources – helping businesses become better employers.

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