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Ben Jones
Ben Jones, UK Lawyer
Category: Employment Law
Satisfied Customers: 49816
Experience:  Qualified Employment Solicitor - Please start your question with 'For Ben Jones'
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Calling in sick to work. I had an accident last night, unfortunately

Customer Question

Calling in sick to work. I had an accident last night, unfortunately I managed to chop the top of my little finger off while chopping chilli. I was taken to hospital where the attended to the injury, told me to rest and return in 2-3 day for it to be examined again. I emailed the manager that I work with last night to tell her what happened and that I would not be in work for a few days, would be returning to hospital on Friday and would know more about my suitability to work then. She emailed me back this morning, asking me to call her manager explaining that he is actually my manager too. I tried to call him, but he gave a message to call him back in 30 minutes which I did. During the call he told me that I should call back every day to say that I would not be in that day, until I am back in work. I explained again that I was going back to hospital on Friday, and that I had been told to rest until then, and that I was in considerable pain, I emphasised that I would not be in work until at least Friday and after visiting the hospital again I would know more. I do remember something in my contract about calling in sick every day, but have been told that this is not legal, how do I stand ?
Submitted: 4 years ago.
Category: Employment Law
Expert:  Ben Jones replied 4 years ago.

Ben Jones :

Hello, my name is Ben and it is my pleasure to assist you with your question today.
Before proceeding please note that as I am a practising solicitor, I am often in and out of meetings, travelling between clients or even at court when I pick your question up. This may even occur at weekends. Therefore, I apologise in advance but there may be a delay in getting back to you and providing my advice. Please be patient and I will respond as soon as I can. You do not have to wait here and you will receive an email when I have responded. For now please let me know how long you have worked there.

JACUSTOMER-okpb5mee- :

I have worked for this company since November 2010

Ben Jones :

Thank you for your patience. There is nothing in law that says an employee should or should not contact their employer every day on which they will be absent from work. Such policies will generally be laid down in the employee's contract and would then become a contractual requirement. If the employee does not follow them they could end up being in breach of company policy, which in more serious circumstances can be a misconduct issue.

It is incorrect to say that such clauses are automatically unlawful, although there are circumstances when they can become unreasonable and potentially unenforceable. This would usually be when the employee is likely to be off sick for a prolonged period of time and as such requiring them to call in every day would be unreasonable and go beyond what would usually be required in the circumstances. However, during absences of a shorter duration the employer can certainly apply a policy where they require the employee to contact them every day to advise them that they are not going to be attending work. The threshold as to when this becomes unreasonable is not set down anywhere but I would say that once the absence becomes longer than 10-124 days it may become too much to require the employee to contact their employer on a daily basis.

If you are unable to contact your employer on a specific day and you know this in advance, let them know and given them prior warning that you may be delayed on contacting them.

Ben Jones :

Has your original query been answered?

Ben Jones :

I would be grateful if you could please take a second to leave a positive rating - your question will not close and I can continue providing further advice if necessary. Thank you