What do I do when an employee gets sick?

Consistency is Key

Hi, today’s 52 top tip is the eight of hearts and it’s all about sickness. 

Staff will get sick and managing it effectively is the key to business continuity. Statutory sick pay, SSP, means that employees are not paid for the first three days of sickness and then receive SSP from day four up to week twenty eight, as long as there are valid fit notes from the doctor. 

Staff with less than seven days sickness need to self-certify. Employers may choose to pay more than the statutory and this is determined by both the affordability and the company culture. 

Now, what I would advise here is that you’re consistent. What you don’t want to do is end up with some kind of discrimination claim or grievance against the company, because you’ve treated two members of staff differently. So if your policy is such a statutory sickness, that’s fine, but make sure that you’re applying to everybody consistently. If your policy is that you pay a week’s full pay or more, then that’s again fine, as long as you apply that policy consistently. 

And whatever you’re going to do in practise, make sure that it’s actually reflected in both your contract of employment and your employee handbook. Because if you put yourself, if your policy says that you’re going to pay statutory, and then you pay company sick pay, you’re actually automatically putting yourself in breach of your own contracts of employments.

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