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Ben Jones
Ben Jones, UK Lawyer
Category: Employment Law
Satisfied Customers: 66868
Experience:  Qualified Employment Solicitor
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I work for a company that have told staff that if they phone

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I work for a company that have told staff that if they phone in sick for no matter what reason that they will be put in 2 weeks sick leave even if the sickness has nothing to do with covid 19. Are they allowed to do this?
JA: Have you discussed this with a manager or HR? Or with a lawyer?
Customer: Its not happened to me yet but my colleague rang in sick on Monday after having bad food ordered from a takeaway and was told if he didn't come to work that they would put him on 2 weeks off work on statutory sick pay. I'm worried that if a similar thing happened to me I would be treated the same
JA: What is your employment status? Are you an employee, freelancer, consultant or contractor? Do you belong to a union?
Customer: im not in a union. Full time employed
JA: Anything else you want the Lawyer to know before I connect you?
Customer: I've heard that anyone who rings in sick where i work for whatever reason will be told to go off for 2 weeks on ssp while the covid pandemic continues
Customer: replied 13 days ago.
My manager isn't very approachable on this type of issue

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.

How long have you worked there for? I will reply later today thanks

Customer: replied 13 days ago.
4 years and 4 months

Many thanks for your patience. The employer cannot legally do this and whilst they can try and force staff to stay off work for precautionary measures, they should pay them in full rather than force them to go off on SSP. Only if someone has the recognised Covid-19 symptoms should they be forced to self-isolate and go off for 2 weeks on sick pay. However, if they do not have the official symptoms or a diagnosis they cannot be forced to go off for 2 weeks on sick pay and the employer should at the very least cover their pay for this enforced period off.

Does this answer your query?

Customer: replied 13 days ago.
Thank you. What if an employee has a known symptom of covid 19 like upset stomach but knows the cause of the symptom. Like having a dodgy meal?

I don’t think that is one of the official symptoms of the virus? The symptoms are listed by the NHS as follows:

· a high temperature

· a new, continuous cough

· a loss or change to your sense of smell or taste

Customer: replied 13 days ago.
One of my colleagues rang in sick on Monday with an upset stomach and was told if he didnt show for work he would be put on 2 weeks sick leave on ssp. Is this legal?

As discussed on my main response above, no it is not and even if the employer is being over-cautious by asking them not to come into work they should be paid in full

Does this clarify things a bit more for you?

Customer: replied 13 days ago.
thank you. If I happened to ring in sick and they threatened to put me on ssp for 2 weeks what action should I take?

First of all you need to identify what symptoms you have and make it clear that they are not Covid-19 related. If that is the case then remind the employer there is no legal basis for them to forcer you off work, but if they want to do it to eb cautious, then you need to e paid in full. Only if you have the recognised symptoms can you be forced to go off sick on SSP

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