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Ben Jones
Ben Jones, UK Lawyer
Category: Law
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Experience:  Qualified Solicitor
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can an injury at work be counted as sick leave for disciplinary

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can an injury at work be counted as sick leave for disciplinary actions against an employee

Ben Jones :

Hello, my name is XXXXX XXXXX it is my pleasure to assist you with your question today. Can you explain your situation a little more please?


i have a disciplinary meeting coming up for 3 sick leave periods in the last 6 months 2 of thesse periods were for injurys at work 1 period i was refused to enter details into accident at work records because employers said it should have done on day of my knowledge it should be done as soon as is practible.

Ben Jones :

Sorry I am having problems getting back into chat and cannot view your response to my question, can you please post it again, many thanks


i have a disciplinary meeting coming up for 3 sick leave periods in the last 6 months 2 of these periods were for injurys at work 1 of these injurys i was refused to enter into details into accident book because employer said it must be done on day of injury. to my knowledge it should be entered as soon as is practicable

Ben Jones :

it is certainly possible for workplace in juries to be counted as part of an employee's general sickness absence record. There is nothing in law that says an injury should be discounted just because it was incurred in the workplace, even if it was the employer's fault.

If the employer is considering taking formal action then first and foremost they need to comply with any workplace sickness or absence procedures and policies.


They need to conduct an investigation, which would involve:

  • Investigating the nature, extent and likely duration of any illness.

  • Asking the employee for information and/or obtain medical reports if necessary.

  • If absences are short-term and intermittent, investigating whether there is any underlying cause (medical or otherwise). If necessary, follow a capability or disciplinary procedure instead, offering practical guidance and assistance, setting timescales for improvement, and giving warnings where appropriate.


The employer then needs to review the alternatives:

  • Before deciding whether to take formal action, such as a warning or even dismissal, consider surrounding circumstances, age and length of service of employee together with action taken in respect of similar circumstances in the past.

  • Consider importance of employee and/or the post occupied to the business, the impact their continued absence is having on the business and the difficulty and cost of continuing to deal with their absence.

  • Consider whether the employee could take up alternative employment or whether there are any other options that would avoid the need for formal action.



You will have an argument that these episodes of absence should not be counted if you can show that the reason you are off amounts to a disability in law.


The Equality Act 2010 (“EA”) defines a disability as a “physical or mental impairment that has a substantial and long-term adverse effect on a person’s ability to carry out normal day-to-day activities”.


I will break this definition down:

  • Physical or mental impairment – this can include nearly any medical condition, including progressive conditions and mental conditions such as depression;

  • Substantial effect – the effect must be more than minor or trivial;

  • Long-term - the effect of the impairment must either have lasted or be likely to last for at least 12 months;

  • Normal day-to-day activities – these are not defined but would include anything considered ‘normal’ in a person's normal daily routine (e.g. eating, washing, driving, walking, shopping, etc.)





many thanks

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