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Ben Jones
Ben Jones, UK Lawyer
Category: Law
Satisfied Customers: 44358
Experience:  Qualified Solicitor - Please start your question with 'For Ben Jones'
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I have an long standing mental health condition called an anankastic behaviour disorder which has been diagnosed and controlled by medication. Recentley through stress at work I had to go on long term sick and diagnosed by my doctor with Clinical Depression. The sign off period was four weeks. At weekends I do perform as a cabaret singer which is seperate work from the day job. I did do some meeting and greeting for the cabaret company I work for while i was signed off from the monday to friday job but I wasnt paid as i didnt do my full duties. I saw this as an opportunity to feel better about myself and get back out instead of sitting in a room staring at the walls. I have since returned back to work and had two meetings with HR who have printed out pictures of me from the cabaret website and using this as evidence of me working while being signed off and also refusing to pay me sick pay because of this. What I would like to know is the law surrounding this...was I in the wrong to go and do the cabaret meet and greets while I was signed off from my day job? and where do I stand as they are threatening disciplinary action against me and possible termination of employment?

Submitted: 2 years ago.
Category: Law
Expert:  Ben Jones replied 2 years ago.
Ben Jones :

Hello, my name is ***** ***** it is my pleasure to assist you with your question today. How long have you worked there for?

Customer: I have worked there for 7 years
Ben Jones :

Thank you. It is 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.

Hope this clarifies your position? If you could please let me know that would be great, thank you

Ben Jones :

Please let me know if this has answered your original question or if you need me to clarify anything else for you in relation to this? Thanks

Expert:  Ben Jones replied 2 years ago.
Hello Craig, could you please let me know if I have answered your original question or if you need me to clarify anything else for you in relation to this – this is needed so I can either keep the question open or close it if no further advice is required? Thank you

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