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Ben Jones
Ben Jones, UK Lawyer
Category: Employment Law
Satisfied Customers: 69162
Experience:  Qualified Employment Solicitor
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I have an employee who I saw on an interview last week.

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Hi there. I have an employee who I saw on an interview last week. After asking her about this she said she was on an interview which obviously is fair enough however as a small business owner I asked her if she could let me know her intentions as soon as possible.
Assistant: Have you discussed the termination with your HR staff? Or with a lawyer?
Customer: I came in this evening to a letter stating that she was considering her position in the company as she felt the environment had become in unbearable and in further questioning she has stated she will not be returning to work and I should put her as sick.
Assistant: Is the relevant person an employee, freelancer, consultant or contractor? Does the person belong to a union?
Customer: she is employed in a full time capacity and has worked for me for 2 year 5 months with no other problems.
Assistant: Anything else you want the Lawyer to know before I connect you?
Customer: ii would just like to know where I stand in terms of how long I can expect her to be on the sick. She has a contract which states 4 weeks notice period. I possibly owe her about 40 hours hours days but she has training fees to repay also (stated in the contract)

Hello, I’m Ben, a UK lawyer and will be dealing with your case today. I may also need to ask some questions to determine the legal position.

Does she have a formal sick note? Please note I will reply in the morning thanks

Customer: replied 7 months ago.
No not as yet. That’s fine, I actually didn’t expect any response tonight so thank you, ***** *****

Many thanks for your patience. Whilst an employee can get signed off sick at any time, they must still ensure they follow certain procedures. First of all, they can self-certify themselves off sick for up to 7 days, without the need for a doctor’s note. Once the sickness absence goes over 7 days, you can expect her to provide a doctor’s fit note to act as proof of the reasons for sickness. Without any such proof you can potentially refuse to pay her any sick pay.

In terms of the training fees, you need to check the contract to see if it allows you to deduct these from her wages. If that is allowed, you can potentially do that and take it off any pay owed to her. In the absence of such a clause you are relying on her paying them back voluntarily, or if she refuses , you would have to make a claim against her in the Small Claims Court to try and recover these.

Does this answer your query?

Ben Jones and 4 other Employment Law Specialists are ready to help you
Customer: replied 7 months ago.
Hi there. Thank you for your response. I understand about the sick pay and will follow the guidelines as per my responsibilities I’m just concerned that since she was looking into alternative employment how long can this go on for and I’m I able to terminate her employment while she is on the sick. I have a contract with a specific section relating to training fees as we have had this incident in the past so it’s all explained to them about how fees are reclaimed if they leave within certain time of doing the courses and this is all signed by the individuals. The holidays that she is owed would cover these training fees though so am I able to withhold theses to cover the fees? Many thanks, Sarah

Hi, yes the holiday pay she is owed is still classified as wages so if there is a written agreement allowing you to withhold wages to cover the training costs you can hold that back.

In terms of terminating her employment, you either have to allow her to do this by submitting her resignation, or you have to do it if you have a fair reason for doing so. I cannot see a fair reason just yet and you need to be careful with that as she has unfair dismissal protection and if she is dismissed unfairly you could be liable for extra compensation. So just le her go off on sick leave for as long as she can cover herself for with a doctor’s note – that could last months if needed, but after 26 weeks you do no even have to pay her SSP

Customer: replied 7 months ago.
Many thanks for your response and the advice, it’s very much appreciated.

All the best

Customer: replied 6 months ago.
Hi. Is it possible to ask a question about deductions from wages please?

I see you have posted a new query about this which I will deal with

Customer: replied 6 months ago.

No worries

Customer: replied 6 months ago.
Hi Ben, sorry for the late message. I’m not sure if I can upload the whole contract however in the mean time I’ll try and send you a screen shot of the portion of the contract relating to training fees. Many thanks.

Thanks could you please post that on the new thread you started about this, many thanks