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Ben Jones
Ben Jones, UK Lawyer
Category: Employment Law
Satisfied Customers: 50209
Experience:  Qualified Employment Solicitor
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I work in the public sector and have been signed off work for

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I work in the public sector and have been signed off work for a medical condition, originally for 3 months which was then extended a further 3 months and I am due to return to work at the beginning of December.
As I have not been in my present job for 5 years, my full pay ends in October so in November I will receive only half pay.
I am thinking of leaving this particular job as it is a contributing factor to making my condition worse and I am generally unhappy there. I am not going to look for another job until my sickness period is over, however I am happy to leave my job without another job to go to and review things after a few months as financially, I am able to do this.
I have checked through my employer's hr policies online and cannot see anything about the rules of serving notice after a period of sick leave. I have been warned by friends and colleagues to check everything first before doing anything because they believe that there must be a rule/law that would follow similar lines of maternity rules whereby there is a period I must return to work before serving notice because I have been paid for sick leave, otherwise forfeit some pay already received. I cannot find anything about this in the policies and do not know legally if there is a general rule about this in employment law.
In my particular situation, had I have had any longer sick leave I would not have been paid anyway, however I don't know if the pay I have received would be affected if I do serve notice. Please advise.
Hello, my name is***** am a solicitor on this site and it is my pleasure to assist you with your question today. How long have you worked there for?
Customer: replied 2 years ago.


I have been there for 4.5 years.

So are you only concerned with the possibility of having to pay back any sick pay if you were to leave now?
Customer: replied 2 years ago.

Yes. I am due to return in December but have a phased return to work over a period of 3 months which my hospital's occupational therapist has recommended and this has been agreed by my occ health at work, however I really can't see that happening with management due to short staff etc.

If I were to return to work and immediately serve notice (which is one month's notice), what are the consequences?

I also have a lot of annual leave which runs Sept - Sept so my leave from last year (2014/15) up to Sept has been rolled over to add to my new leave from the start of Sept (2015/16). Could I use leave during my notice period?

Do I need to wait until my sickness period is over before serving notice?

Can I check how much notice your employer has to serve you with if they were t terminate your employment?
Customer: replied 2 years ago.

There is a Notice section in the Ts&Cs of the staff handbook and it states:

'The minimum period of notice to which staff are entitled is as prescribed by employment legislation i.e. one week's notice in writing for every complete year of service up to a maximum of 12 weeks, except during probation'

So I assume 4 weeks notice is correct?

Yes correct. You can resign at any time you wish, whether on sick leave or not. You would be required to serve notice as per your contract although you are not required t work through that notice. So you could remain on sick leave for the full notice period. There is actually law which states if your employer is due to give you notice which is not more than a week than what you are due under law (which is the case here) you are entitled to full pay for the full notice period, regardless of whether you get only sick pay at the time. So you may end up getting your full pay for the full notice period even if you would have gone down to half pay. There is also no legal requirement to repay any of the sick pay back if you were to leave whilst off sick. If this was a requirement it would be contained in your contract but it is rare and certainly not as common as the maternity pay repayment options you were told about. 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
Customer: replied 2 years ago.

Thanks very much for your answer.

-Just to clarify, if I were to serve notice before my return to work date eg if I served notice in November, I would still receive full pay for the month's notice period even though I am on half pay/sick pay? Would I have to fight for that or should the HR department automatically do that as part of law?

-If I don't serve notice until or after my return to work date ie 1st December, can I request that I use my remaining leave for the notice period?

-Is it my right to use leave should I choose? And if I still have leave remaining after my notice period, would I get paid for that?

-Would I have to account for why I want to quit? For example, it is known that you can't go for another job interview whilst on sick leave. This is not what I am planning on doing but I am worried that if I were to just serve notice, could my employer wrongly suspect I have taken another job or been going for interviews?

I would want to leave knowing that I can count on obtaining a good reference from them in the future.

Thank you, ***** ***** all my bases so I can consider how to proceed.

Ideally the employer should know of this and ensure you are paid full pay for your notice period but you never know how informed they are so the following link will clarify your rights and can be something you refer them to if needed: You could request that you use your holidays for the rest of your notice but the employer does not have to allow that, however if you have leave left over when you finish you must be paid for that separately. You do not generally need to say why you are resigning but check if your contract requires you to give a reason. Whatever they assume they will have to prove it to take any action.
If your original question has been answered I would be grateful if you could please quickly rate my answer by selecting 3, 4 or 5 starts at the top of the page - it only takes a second to do and is an important part of our process. I can still answer follow up questions afterwards if needed. Thank you
Customer: replied 2 years ago.

Thanks for clarifying. One final question, if I return for a month or so on a phased return (so only working part time - a few hours a week for a couple of days) and they lower my pay accordingly (this has not been discussed yet) and during the phased return I serve notice, they still have to pay full pay for the notice period?

Thank you for your assistance.

Yes as you are ready and willing to work and the above rules should also apply
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