Managing sickness

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Employee sickness is an issue that most employers will have to tackle at some point, whether that is an employee taking short-term sporadic sick days or an employee who is signed off work due to a long-term illness. Goodman Derrick sets out some useful reminders on how to deal with sickness absence.

Employees should be asked to self-certify any sickness absences, regardless of the number of days that they are off work. This can be done by having a form for them to complete on their return, setting out the dates of their absence and the nature of their illness/injury. Such records allow the employer to properly monitor sickness issues. 

If the employee is sick for 7 days or more, they should be required to submit a doctor’s note. This commonly takes the form of a “fit note” which gives an indication of whether the employee is totally unfit for work or whether they may be fit for work if some adjustments are made, for example their hours of work are reduced or their duties are amended. If the sickness absence continues beyond the period set out in the original note, the employee should be asked to submit a further doctor’s note…

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