Category Archives: Sickness Absence

Coronavirus (COVID-19): Sick pay (SSP)

Two items: A new online service (available here) has launched to enable small and medium-sized employers to recover Statutory Sick Pay (SSP) payments they have made to their current or former employees for eligible periods of sickness starting on or after 13 March 2020. HMRC guidance (available here) has been updated to reflect this information. Entitlement to SSP has…
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Other legal aspects of Coronavirus

1. Aside from furlough, what other measures can we take to reduce staff or pay? Some employers may have the right in their employment contracts to “lay off” staff.  This is different from redundancy and provides employers with a contractual right to send people home (for no pay) for a short period of time, where…
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Government Reforms (3):  Sickness absence and disability – Consultation

In June the Government announced (see here) Theresa May’s intention to introduce new measures to tackle injustices faced by disabled people. The measures include overhauling statutory sick pay and greater workplace support, publishing new national outcomes data for disabled people and establishing a cross-Government disability team. The Government has now published a consultation (available here)…
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Mental health at work

mental health
It was Mental Health Awareness Week at the start of the month and highly regarded public figures came out in support of mental health, most notably Prince Harry and the Heads Together campaign and sought to raise awareness of the issues surrounding mental illness. As mental health has been in the spotlight we thought it…
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Case update (1): Sickness absence – Long term illness & dismissal

stress and long term absence
Summary: When can an employer fairly dismiss an employee who has been absent from work due to long-term illness? The Court of Appeal has provided helpful advice in O’Brien v Bolton St Catherine’s Academy available here. Facts:  The employee, Ms O’Brien, was a teacher and head of department at the employer. She was assaulted by…
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Newsflash: Employing people with health conditions

disability and health conditions
The Government has published guidance, available here, on employing disabled people and people with health conditions. The guidance contains a summary of information and links to resources on recruiting and employing these staff. This is to help employers increase their understanding of disability in order to enable them to recruit and support at work disabled…
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Government reforms (2): Future picture of health & wellbeing

The Government has published a Green Paper, Improving Lives, available here, which sets out a ten-year vision for reforming the relationship between work and health. Views are sought on how to encourage those with disabilities and long-term health problems to enter and remain in the workplace, how to tackle employer prejudice about long-term health issues and…
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Case update (2): Sickness absence – Beware insensitive contact

Summary: Can raising non-urgent concerns with an employee on sick leave with work-related stress amount to a breach of the implied term of trust and confidence and lead to the employee’s constructive dismissal? Yes, says the EAT in Private Medicine Intermediaries Ltd v Hodkinson available here. Facts:  Miss Hodkinson, the employee, was absent from work…
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Case update (1): Sickness absence – Pull a sickie at your peril

Summary: Is ‘pulling a sickie’ dishonest and sufficient to amount to gross misconduct? Yes, says the EAT in Ajaj v Metroline West Limited available here. Facts:  Mr Ajaj, a bus driver for Metroline West (‘Metroline’), slipped on a wet floor at work and claimed he was unable to work for some time due to a…
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Case update (1): Disability discrimination – are you in the know?

We updated you in our April Newsflash Disability discrimination – are you in the know? on the EAT’s decision in Gallop v Newport City Council [2016] (available here) and here are the further details as promised… Summary: Can knowledge by Occupational Health of a disability be imputed to the employer in a disability discrimination case,…
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