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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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Hi Ben,Following your help with my question regarding my

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Hi Ben,
Following your help with my question regarding my email job offer, I have now served notice to my current employers and need some advice on my pay.
I was signed off work the last 3 weeks due to an operation on my arm. My employers sent me an email last week on 10th December confirming that they would pay me. The person that sent the email is the Team administrator:
Dear X
I have spoken with X (Directors names) with regards ***** ***** salary for this month as you have been signed off for 3 weeks.
Statutory Sick Pay will be applied for the 3 weeks between 24th November 2014 – 12th December 2014, however at their discretion X have agreed that they will pay the difference to make up your usual salary, which in effect means you will be paid a full month’s salary for December 2014.
Please bear in mind that applies to this instance only due to you being a valued member of staff and that this is not standard procedure. Each circumstance in the future will be addressed accordingly.
Am happy to explain further if you need me too
Look forward to seeing you on Monday
I served notice to them on Monday. The directors were very annoyed with me and today asked me to go into their office. They were basically shouting at me about how disappointed and annoyed they are that I am leaving etc, accusing me of planning this all along. They then said they only agreed to pay me during my sick leave out of the goodness of their hearts despite the company being in debt (first I heard about this) and are now threatening not to pay me because I am leaving.
I am very stressed and worried about this as they already told me I was getting paid and now I might not be and haven’t made provisions for this. Where do I stand legally based on the fact that they emailed me a week ago to confirm I would be paid?
In addition, the operation I had was for tennis elbow which has been made worse over the last 2 years by the workstation I have and lack of desk space (I cannot rest my arm down when typing as it is more the depth of a breakfast bar, not desk). My doctor and consultant said that I needed to address this at work and I previously raised this issue with the directors about it being a health and safety issue which they have ignored throughout and said ‘we can’t make the desk any bigger’. I feel extremely frustrated that the sick leave I took was for an operation for a problem that was made worse by the working environment I am in and now they choose not to pay me for that time off despite having put this in writing that they will pay.
Please can you advise if I have any legal standing with my pay based on the circumstances.
Please let me know if you need any further info or clarity.
Ben Jones :

Hello, my name is ***** ***** it is my pleasure to assist you with your question today. What does your contract actually say about sick pay entitlements?


Hi, the contract does not mention anything about sick pay. Just states the salary package:


It just states slalary package (salary per annum), hrs of business, probationary period, holiday entitlement, commencement date, Bank holidays and Notice Periods.


Hi, please can you advise as soon as possible. If I have any legal options I need to raise it with them in the morning. Many thanks

Ben Jones :

Hi, sorry I was in tribunal by the time you had replied. If your contract does not state anything about contractual sick pay then whether you get sick pay on top of SSP when you are off sick is something left entirely at the employer’s discretion. Initially they may have agreed to pay you full pay for the time you were off sick, although that would have been based on the circumstances known to them at the time – that you were a valued member of staff, still committed to the company. However, things changed immediately after because you submitted your notice and decided to leave. This would have significantly changed the circumstances under which the employer had agreed to pay you full pay during your sickness period. You were no longer committed to the company as you had decided to leave and assuming the employer had known that these were your intentions at the time they decided to agree to pay you, then this is likely to have changed their original decision.

So the main issue here is that you do not have a contractual right to sick pay and that any sick pay is paid entirely at the employer’s discretion. Given that the employer decided to exercise their discretion here, the fact that you immediately after that decided to resign means that their discretion could be withheld because your circumstances had changed significantly when compared to the ones that applied at the time the employer exercised their discretion originally.

Whatever the situation, you cannot force them to pay you and the only way to challenge this would be to go through the employment tribunal, which carries its own risks as you will have to pay claim fees, etc and may walk away with a loss if you are unsuccessful.

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


Thanks for your help. Something for me to be aware of with my new employer then!

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