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Ben Jones
Ben Jones, UK Lawyer
Category: Employment Law
Satisfied Customers: 49814
Experience:  Qualified Employment Solicitor - Please start your question with 'For Ben Jones'
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I have been signed off work for 4 wks by my doctor for stress

Customer Question

I have been signed off work for 4 wks by my doctor for stress & depression related to work. Just yesterday I received 3 letters from my employer, one requesting my consent in writing for them to obtain further information from my doctor & to sign medical report consent form, I realise I don not have to give them consent but does that mean that they can withhold pay? The other 2 letters relate to a parking offence & speeding offence in the company van which is used by other employees at my branch and could be them but they have stated that they will deduct these fines from my wages at the end of this month which I will contest, is this legal for them to do.
Fortunately for myself, I do now have another job to go to so my main question therefore is do I send my resignation when my sick note runs out on 22nd July or can I resign now for 22nd July. Bearing in mind also that I have a weeks holiday booked on 22nd July so basically my last weeks notice period would be holiday. I only have to give one weeks notice as I have only been there 8 months. Should they also be sending me letters whilst I have been signed off sick?

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 when you start your new position.

JACUSTOMER-f8gs3oy5- :

Hi Ben, I start my new job on Monday 12th August.

JACUSTOMER-f8gs3oy5- :

OK many thanks, i mlook forward to your earliest reply Ben,

Ben Jones :

Thank you for your patience. It is for the employers to decide what medical evidence they require from employees and at what stage. However, for the purposes of paying SSP, they cannot ask for a doctor's note for at least the first seven days. After that time, they may insist on a statutory fit note or other reasonable evidence. If they are paying you enhanced sick pay then they can decide what evidence is necessary to become eligible to receive such payments.

In relation to their plans to deduct the fines from your wages, under law, an employer can only make deductions from, or withhold an employee’s wages in the following circumstances:

  • If it is legally allowed (e.g. to deduct tax);
  • If it is to recover an earlier overpayment of wages made by the employer; or
  • If the employee has given their written agreement for the deductions to be made.

If none of the above exemptions apply, the deductions will most likely be unlawful. So you need to check if your contract or other agreement accepted by you allows them to make these deductions.

If you want to resign now and you are only due to give 1 week's notice, the employer can terminate your employment just after a week, even if you wanted to leave on the 22 July. So if you want to leave on that date I suggest you wait until a week before that and then submit your notice, which will take you up to the 22nd.

Finally, it is entirely legal for an employer to send you letters whilst off sick but they need to be careful not to become too intrusive as that may amount to harassment. However, as you are leaving anyway this is not really an issue as you would ideally need to remain in employment to deal with it.

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