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Ben Jones
Ben Jones, UK Lawyer
Category: Law
Satisfied Customers: 49814
Experience:  Qualified Solicitor - Please start your question with 'For Ben Jones'
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Im working IT recruitment company

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Hi my name is Boglarka! Im working for an IT recruitment company and I had lots of stress recently and I went to a doctor because i had a heart pain. Im doing cognitive behaviour therapy to release the stress. The doctor gave me a certificate that im not fit for work from april 28 - 11 May, but I sent the photo copy of this to my manager and i told them that i had to have further examination on my heart. They are forcing me to come back earlier and they are asking for evidence of the doctor appointments.
I forgot to say that i came back from Berlin on the 28th of April and I was there for a long weekend. I got cold and i did not feel well and i went to see the doctor.
Tomorrow i need to go back because they are expecting me, and Im very afraid because i know the owner of the company will bully me and will be very harsh with me.
Im one of the 7th best performer at the company out of 70 people, but the owner treats his employees with no trust and he likes to humiliate people. He is always questioning when somebody is sick and he is talking very rude to his employees. What are my rights in this case? Most probably he will frighten me tomorrow. Thanks a lot for the help
Hello, my name is ***** ***** it is my pleasure to assist you with your question today. How long have you worked there for?
Customer: replied 2 years ago.

Hi Ben, I started my employment in 2012 september

Are you an employee or self employed?
Customer: replied 2 years ago.

Im a full time employee, yes!

If you have been signed off sick the employer cannot actually force you to attend work. What hey could do is challenge the reasons for absence and perhaps ask for further evidence of your sickness but they cannot make you attend work, especially when you are not actually fit to attend. In terms of the evidence of incapacity, a "self-certification" for absence of seven calendar days or less is legally acceptable and they cannot ask you for anything else if you were off for that period of time. They can ask for a doctor’s certificate for absences of 7 days or more. In addition, employers are in theory free to decide what medical evidence they require from employees and at what stage. So in addition to the doctor’s note they mays ask for other reasonable evidence if there is any doubt. If the employer disagrees with the reasons for absence or the doctor’s certificate they could ask you to attend an assessment with an independent occupational health specialist and seek a second opinion. However, the employer cannot really take decisions which only a qualified doctor can make so they are not in a position to overrule a doctor’s note/opinion and would need to seek the professional opinion of another doctor to do so. For the time being you simply need to make it clear to the employer that you have been signed off sick formally by a doctor, that they have stated the reasons why and that if they wish to have more information they could ask for a more detailed report by the doctor. Alternatively, they can arrange for an independent occupational health assessment but it would be at their expense. In the meantime, you are legally entitled to remain on sick leave until the note expires and you are certified to return to work. You are also protected against unfair dismissal because you have more than 2 years’ service so the employer cannot just dismiss you for this. They would need to show there was a fair reason for dismissal and follow a fair procedure and in the circumstances I cannot see them being able to justify it so it should not happen. I hope this has answered your query. Please take a second to leave a positive rating, or if you need me to clarify anything before you go - please get back to me and I will assist further as best as I can. Thank you
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