How JustAnswer Works:
  • Ask an Expert
    Experts are full of valuable knowledge and are ready to help with any question. Credentials confirmed by a Fortune 500 verification firm.
  • Get a Professional Answer
    Via email, text message, or notification as you wait on our site. Ask follow up questions if you need to.
  • 100% Satisfaction Guarantee
    Rate the answer you receive.
Ask Ben Jones Your Own Question
Ben Jones
Ben Jones, UK Lawyer
Category: Employment Law
Satisfied Customers: 49804
Experience:  Qualified Employment Solicitor - Please start your question with 'For Ben Jones'
Type Your Employment Law Question Here...
Ben Jones is online now

I am currently employed in the NHS and have been signed off

This answer was rated:

I am currently employed in the NHS and have been signed off on the sick for 4 weeks due to unexplained ongoing weight loss under investigation, this has been going on for over 6 months I've had a number of tests, the doctor has tried to sign me off on a number of occasions due to this but she has now decided I need time off to have urgent tests etc. I have recently applied for 3 new roles in the NHS and the interviews for these roles will fall during the time I'm off on sick leave. Can I still attend the interviews or is this illegal because I'm off sick, or is it against any employment rules and regulations?
Hello, my name is***** am a qualified lawyer 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've worked in the NHS for 21 years and been at my current organisation for 7 1/2 years
Customer: replied 2 years ago.
Hi Ben did you get my response?
Yes, I just need to get my response ready now
Customer: replied 2 years ago.
Thank you
If you are off sick it does not mean that you cannot attend interviews for other positions in the workplace. Being signed off sick means that you are not fit to work, which basically means you are unable to perform your duties. So in effect you are declaring that you cannot do your job for the time being, but that does not mean you cannot do other things such as prepare for and attend interviews. You are off sick to take some rest from work and not undertake your normal duties, but you are still able to attend interviews in the meantime if you need to – being off sick does not mean you have to stay in bed or at home. So you should advise the employer you are still keen to attend these interviews. I hope this has answered your query. I would be grateful if you could please take a second to leave a positive rating (3, 4 or 5 stars) as that is an important part of our process and recognises the time I have spent assisting you. 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.
Thank you Ben, do I need to notify my existing employer that I've got interviews? I haven't told them I have applied for any roles.Someone told me that attending interviews whilst on sick leave could be classed as gross misconduct, is this not true?
You do not have to notify them. Attending interviews when on the sick is not in itself gross misconduct. It would only become an issue if the employer become suspicious as to the reasons for the sick leave, for example it could be gross misconduct if you intentionally signed yourself off sick with untrue reasons in order to attend interviews
Customer: replied 2 years ago.
My employer has been aware of my health issues since May 2015 and know that the doctor has been advising me to take sick leave for a long time.
Customer: replied 2 years ago.
I had already booked annual leave off for the interviews prior to being signed off sick.
I do not see it being an issue in the circumstances, of course there is nothing stopping the employer from investigating this if they believe there is a reason to, but you should be able to show it was all genuine
Customer: replied 2 years ago.
Thank you for the advice is there anything else I need to do to protect myself and my employment?
Just keep any evidence which would back up your side of the story, e.g. medical notes, doctor reports, etc
Customer: replied 2 years ago.
My manager is aware I am unhappy in my current roles and knows I am looking for alternative employment.
that does not make your actions gross misconduct - if you are genuinely off sick then you cannot be stopped from going about your normal life, including attending interviews
Customer: replied 2 years ago.
Thank you. Regards Julie
You are welcome. 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
Ben Jones and other Employment Law Specialists are ready to help you