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Ben Jones
Ben Jones, UK Lawyer
Category: Employment Law
Satisfied Customers: 50144
Experience:  Qualified Employment Solicitor
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My employee has just been diagnosed with leukaemia. He has

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My employee has just been diagnosed with leukaemia. He has asked for sick pay although i have agreed to pay him 1 month per year in his contract he is having odd days at the moment . but i feel he is not able to work as he is too ill . he continues to attend work should i get a written letter from his dr to say he is fit to works as i am very worries about him
Ben Jones : Hello, my name is ***** ***** it is my pleasure to assist you with your question today. What is your specific query about this situation?

Should i be getting a written letter from his doctor to say he is fit to work ??

Ben Jones :

Good morning, as an employer you have a duty to ensure the health and safety of your employees at work and not expose them to any unnecessary risks. In the case where an employee is ill and still working you would need to consider the effects of them being into work and if this may place them in a position where they are at risk of any injury or worsening their condition. If that is a probability then you will have to consider making changes, for example reducing their work or hours in order to reduce the risks they may be exposed to.

As you are not a medical professional, some of these decisions may not be easy for you to make and as such you would have to rely on a professional’s opinion. If the employee has already been off work on sick leave, then you can request a fit note to be certain that they are actually fit to work, or to determine if there are any changes you need to make to allow them back into work. So you can request a fit note from them to understand your position better. If they cannot provide such a note and you have concerns about their fitness to work, then you may request a doctor’s report to directly address these issues and provide an opinion on their suitability to continue working as they are currently doing at present. You could send them to an independent occupational health specialist (you would have to pay for this), or you can ask them to see their own doctor.

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


the problem is we took him on as a senior manager to take on the running of our company so we could take a back seat .his illness has affected his ability to do this he wants to reduce the hours but his own finanicial problems wont let him until he has sold his ho


house and reduced his burden but this is not helping me as we are still paying him full wages he says when he sells his house hes not working these hours but hes not working or doing the job anyway


sorry if im gabbling on i wish i was on line when you are ha ha


I am in a horrid position but need to know my rights as an employer as he has told me i have to accommodate him but i feel although he's not really working but coming in sometimes we are paying in full

Ben Jones :

Hi, you do not have to pay him in full unless his contract allows that. If he is off sick occasionally and taking days off due to his condition then he would only be entitled to his contractual sick pay entitlement. If his contract does not allow him to receive full sick pay then you only have to pay him the statutory sick pay amount. You may have decided to pay him full pay as a goodwill gesture but that is not something you have to do and if necessary you can gradually reduce this to the SSP amount. If he is entitled to sick pay then you will have to pay him as per the contract, until that is used up.

In terms of accommodating him then that is true – you cannot just decide he can’t do his job and take action over that. You need to allow him time off if necessary (subject to the sick pay allowance he is entitled to) and also try and see if there is anything you can do to help him, such as reducing his hours or duties or offering him another suitable job. If he goes off on sick leave for an extended period of time then that is when you can eventually consider taking action to go as far as dismissal due to the fact he is no longer capable of performing his job but that is not a straightforward process and will also take time.

When looking at the reasonableness of such a dismissal, the tribunal will usually look at the following elements:

  • What was the nature of the illness

  • Was the employee consulted over their position and did the employer try to ascertain the true medical position

  • What was the likelihood of the employee returning to work or the illness reoccurring in the future

  • The effect a prolonged absence would have on the business and the workforce

  • The availability of other suitable employment that the employee could do instead

Dismissal must always be viewed as a last resort by the employer. Only when it is obvious that the employee cannot continue in their job and that there was nothing else available for them to do would dismissal become a fair option.

Hope this has clarified your position?

Ben Jones :

Hello, I see you have accessed and read my answer to your query. 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? I just need to know whether to close the question or not? Thanks


Thanks Ben , I really dont want to look at dismissing him he is a very nice man . we just cant go on paying him full wages for 50% work he comes in and out at his own free will but not productive to the company as hes costing so much and i will need to get someone in to cover his work load thank you for your assistance Ben much appreciated


Also for over 6 months now other staff members have been carrying his extra work and are fed up and cant cope

Ben Jones :

so what is his contractual entitlement to sick pay?


He is entitled in his COE to 1 months discretionary sick pay per 12 months he hasn't taken any because he says he want to use it later in the year when he cant work

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