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Ben Jones
Ben Jones, UK Lawyer
Category: Employment Law
Satisfied Customers: 50154
Experience:  Qualified Employment Solicitor
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On behalf of my sister who has been receiving treatment for

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On behalf of my sister who has been receiving treatment for cancer, whig she has now been told will be terminal. She has contractual sick pay from her employers and policy states 60 days full pay and 60 days at half pay. It does not give details of whether the period(s) of absence are additive and if so over what period. She has been working as much as possible in between periods of treatment, assuming that each time she went back to work it set her sickbay back to zero. Now they say her sick pay will run out in August as she has had all her allowance in chunks since last June. She would dispute that their calculations are correct but the real question is is this how the system works?
Hello, my name is ***** ***** it is my pleasure to assist you with your question today. firstly can you tell me how long she has been with her employer please.
Customer: replied 2 years ago.
At least 8 to 10 years with a very good sickness record prior to this diagnosis.
OK thank you, ***** ***** it with me. I am in a tribunal today so will prepare my advice during the day and get back to you this evening. There is no need to wait and you will receive an email when I have responded. Thank you
Many thanks for your patience and sorry for the slight delay in responding – I could not access the site earlier for some reason.
The law does not really deal with this directly because it is a contractual matter and would depend on the wording in her contract or the relevant policy. The law would only really deal with Statutory Sick Pay, but any company sick pay is dependent on the employer’s policies In place.
In this case she has a policy which states 60 days full pay and 60 days half pay. It does not mention how this is calculated. She would need to check what past practice has been and how the employer has dealt with administering sick pay in similar situations in the past. That would be the starting point. If this is unprecedented then it would come down to what a reasonable interpretation of the clause is. That is when we could get into difficulties as one person may interpret this in a completely different way to another. The same would apply with Judges if they were asked to look at this should this be challenged in tribunal. What I can say is that any ambiguous wording would be interpreted against the party relying on it, in this case the employer. So the more ambiguous the wording is the more it would go against the employer, but again there is no clear answer as it depends on how it is interpreted.
If she was to challenge this she only really has two options – one is to raise a grievance first with the employer. After that all she can do is take the matter to the employment tribunal for formal resolution but whether she does that in her condition is obviously for her to decide.
I trust this has answered your query. I would be grateful if you could please take a second to leave a positive rating (selecting 3, 4 or 5 starts at the top of the page). If for any reason you are unhappy with my response or if you need me to clarify anything before you go - please get back to me on here and I will assist further as best as I can. Thank you
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