Sickness absence

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It can be frustrating when an employee takes time off work due to being unwell, especially for a small business that does not have an excess pool of workers to cover that employee.

Employment law contains rules on how employers should handle sickness absence by employees and also what to do when an employee returns to work after a period of sickness absence. It’s important to follow these rules properly to avoid a later challenge by an unhappy employee who claims to have been caused unnecessary hardship and/or to have been unlawfully discriminated against.

Employers also have a duty to care for their employees’ health and safety and to accommodate, wherever reasonable, employee disabilities. Disabilities are defined quite broadly and include conditions such as stress.

You’ll find guidance on all of these key topics below.

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