Contact with sick employees

legal updates

As an employer, phoning or contacting the employee daily could be seen as unreasonable

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When an employee is on sick, an employer is entitled to maintain reasonable contact with them and to be kept up to date on their current situation. However, this is tricky if you have been unable to get hold of the employee.

As an employer, phoning or contacting the employee daily could be seen as unreasonable and you cannot harass an employee in any way. It would be reasonable for you to contact the employee weekly to check on their wellbeing and to see whether anything can be done to facilitate a return to work, such as a phased reintroduction into the workplace

If the employee is disabled, you are under a specific duty to make reasonable adjustments under the Equality Act 2010. This is to ensure the employee isn’t placed at a substantial disadvantage compared with non disabled employees.

Usually, contact is conducted by phone or email and ideally the employee will be co-operative. However, if you have made several attempts to contact a sick employee without any success, we would advise you to write to the employee requesting them to contact you.

If no contact is received, you could then consider contacting the employee’s nominated emergency contact and request them to contact you.

Lawgistics members can get advice and support on employment issues by contacting the legal team.

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Related Legal Updates

Long-term Sickness Absence

Where an employee has been absent from work, due to their incapacity to attend, the aim is always to, where reasonably possible, assist in their return to and continuance of work.

From sick notes to fit notes

From July 2022, the type of medical practitioners who can issue sick notes will be widened.

Pandemic impact on annual leave entitlement

The change in March 2020 allowed for four weeks of annual leave to be carried over. So, as a reminder, any carried over leave must be used in 2022!

Right to work – adjusted checks extended to 30 September 2022

Job applicants and existing employees can send scanned documents or a photo of documents for checks using email or a mobile app, rather than sending originals.

Changes to pre-employment checks on the right to work in the UK

The current laws regarding pre-employment checks on foreign recruits is due to change from 6 April 2022.

End of COVID-19 restrictions – Employment implications

Until 24 March 2022, Statutory Sick Pay (SSP) will continue to be available to employees who self-isolate.

Reimbursement of Statutory Sick Pay (SSP) paid in relation to COVID-19

To qualify for the reimbursement scheme, the employer must have a Pay As You Earn (PAYE) scheme in place which started on or before 30 November 2021

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