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Ben Jones
Ben Jones, UK Lawyer
Category: Employment Law
Satisfied Customers: 47376
Experience:  Qualified Employment Solicitor - Please start your question with 'For Ben Jones'
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I have given in my notice (3 months) and have now gone off

Customer Question

I have given in my notice (3 months) and have now gone off sick due to stress at work. I am unlikely to be able to return to that job, but am physically fit and would be able to do something else, rather than having to claim SSP. Is there any way around this? Thank you.
Submitted: 1 year ago.
Category: Employment Law
Expert:  Remus2004 replied 1 year ago.
How long have you worked there?
Customer: replied 1 year ago.
About 7 months.
Customer: replied 1 year ago.
(Posted by JustAnswer at customer's request) Hello. I would like to request the following Expert Service(s) from you: Live Phone Call. Let me know if you need more information, or send me the service offer(s) so we can proceed.
Customer: replied 1 year ago.
My number is ***** 711371. Do I just wait for a call?
Expert:  Remus2004 replied 1 year ago.
Ok. What is it that you want to achieve?
Customer: replied 1 year ago.
I would like to end the notice period early if possible, as I won't get paid by my employers after four weeks, and during the first four weeks of sickness I would only get half pay. I would much prefer to be legally able to work somewhere else.
Customer: replied 1 year ago.
My contrat is for Monday - Friday hours - would it be illegal to work elsewhere at the weekends whilst off sick?
Expert:  Ben Jones replied 1 year ago.
Hello, my name is ***** ***** my colleague has asked me to assist with your query as she was called in court. Does your contract prevent you from holding another job whilst working for this employer?
Customer: replied 1 year ago.
No, as long as it is not in direct competition. It is the sick pay aspect which I am concerned about.
Expert:  Ben Jones replied 1 year ago.
Do you mean getting sick pay whilst working elsewhere?
Customer: replied 1 year ago.
Yes. During the final two months of my notice period, I would not get company sick pay but assume I would get SSP. I would rather decline the SSP and be able to work elsewhere instead, if that is possible.
Expert:  Ben Jones replied 1 year ago.
It is actually not illegal for an employee to be off sick from one job and receive sick pay, whilst continuing to work for another employer. Many employers incorrectly refer to this as the employee 'defrauding' the company and even take disciplinary action, up to and including dismissal. However, the legal position is that as long as the employee is genuinely certified unfit to work and this affects their ability to carry out the specific job from which they are signed off, they are able to be off sick from it. In the meantime if they are capable of performing another job, which is not affected by the reasons for being signed off sick, they can do so. For example, someone is signed off sick due to workplace stress as a result of heavy workload or bullying by colleagues. The stress prevents them from working in that specific job as the stressors are directly connected to it. It does not prevent them from continuing to work in another, less stressful job, where no stressors are present. It is also important to consider the conditions of the employment contract or relevant policies from the job the employee is signed off from. For example, the employee's contract could state that a condition of receiving company sick pay is that they do not work elsewhere, or they could even be a blanket prohibition on having a second job. In such circumstances it would be a potential breach of contract to have the second job, even if generally it would not be illegal to do so. In the absence of such a restriction and assuming the reasons for being signed off sick are genuine and do not affect you working in the second job, this would not be illegal. This is your basic legal position. I have more detailed advice for you in terms of the options you have to leave without serving your notice period, which I wish to discuss so please take a second to leave a positive rating for the service so far (by selecting 3, 4 or 5 stars) and I can continue with that and answer any further questions you may have. Don’t worry, leaving a rating will not close the question and we can continue this discussion. Thank you
Ben Jones, UK Lawyer
Category: Employment Law
Satisfied Customers: 47376
Experience: Qualified Employment Solicitor - Please start your question with 'For Ben Jones'
Ben Jones and other Employment Law Specialists are ready to help you
Customer: replied 1 year ago.
Thanks for that. I would be interested in your advice about leaving without serving the full notice period.
Expert:  Ben Jones replied 1 year ago.
Thank you. If there is a written contract in place and it contains a specific clause detailing the notice period an employee is supposed to give if they wanted to leave their employment, they will be contractually bound by it. Therefore, if the employee fails to honour this notice period then they will be acting in breach of contract. The employer then has the option of suing the employee to seek compensation for damages resulting from their breach. However, in reality such claims are very rarely made. This is mainly due to the costs and time involved, also the relatively small damages that can be recovered. Also the employer has to show that actual losses have been incurred and often that is not easy to do. So whilst there is no way of predicting whether the employer will take this any further or not, chances are that they will not. A more likely outcome is that the employer refuses to provide a reference in the future or if they do, it could mention that the employee had breached their contract. It is therefore best to try and negotiate a mutually acceptable notice period that would suit both parties. However, if that is not possible and there is a pressing need to leave early, that is still a possibility, subject to the risks identified above. Finally, there are circumstances when an employee may be entitled to leave with immediate effect and without honouring their notice period. This occurs when an employer has committed a serious breach of contract first. The whole contract, including the notice periods, then becomes immediately void and the employee would be treated as being 'constructively dismissed'. So if there are reasons to believe the employer has acted in breach of contract, whether a breach of an express contractual term, or other breaches such as bullying, exposing the employee to unreasonable stress, discriminating against them, etc this reason can be relied on in order to leave with immediate effect.
Customer: replied 1 year ago.
Thank you.
Expert:  Ben Jones replied 1 year ago.
You are welcome, all the best

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