Advice required on Sick Notes

jackie Registered Posts: 81 Regular contributor ⭐

Can any body advise me on an employers rights regarding the production of sick notes.
One of my husbands apprentices (3rd year - 16 months to go) is often off sick with 'gastro-enteritus' for periods of 2-5 days and gives us a celf cert sick note.
With the latest period of sickness this week I have asked for a doctors note but he tells us that he does not have to produce one, a self cert is sufficient upto 7 days.

Thanks in advance....



  • jorja1986
    jorja1986 Registered Posts: 210 Dedicated contributor 🦉

    Blatent copy and paste from the above site.

    Hope it helps. If they are all linked though then there are other grounds but the above pdf from citizens advice should help.

    If he is ill that often maybe he could be due a review? :confused1:

    If you can, you should tell your employer straight away that you are ill and unable to go to work. You may lose sick pay if you don't do this (see below). Your employer may have rules about what to do if you cannot come to work because of illness. They can, for example, insist that you tell them you are ill on the first day that you cannot go into work. Your employer must let you know what these rules are in advance. If you don't keep to the rules, you will be breaking the terms of your employment contract.
    If you're getting SSP, your employer can't refuse to pay you SSP if you don't:
    • provide a medical certificate until your eighth day of illness
    • phone in by a certain time of day to tell them you are sick
    • phone in more than once a week when you are off sick
    • phone in yourself and ask someone else to do it on your behalf.
    However, your employer can make rules like these about the payment of any contractual sick pay you are entitled to.
    Can your employer refuse to pay you if you are off sick?
    You are off sick because of a disability
    If you are disabled and your employer refuses to give you sick pay when you are off sick for a reason connected with your disability, your employer could be breaking the law. You may be able to make a complaint to an employment tribunal for unfair treatment because of your disability (disability discrimination), but you may have to raise a written grievance with your employer first. You should get help from an experienced adviser (see Further help at the end of this fact sheet).
    You do not call in sick straight away
    If you do not tell your employer that you are off sick straight away you could lose some or all of either SSP or contractual sick pay, unless you have a good reason for not telling them. Your employer can refuse to pay you contractual sick pay for the days you are off and do not call in sick.
    You are off for several short periods of time
    If you are off sick for more than four short periods (four to seven days) in a year, your employer can contact Medical Services to look into the reasons you have given for missing work. Medical Services are contacted by your employer through HM Revenue and Customs (HMRC). They may contact your doctor to ask for information about your illnesses. Medical Services cannot contact your doctor unless you give them permission to do so. If the Medical Services report says you have been off work without good reason, your employer may refuse to pay you SSP. You can appeal against this decision if you think it is wrong.

    You are off for long periods of time
    If you have long periods of time off work, your employer can contact Medical Services to decide if you are fit enough to do your job. If the Medical Services report says you have been off work without good reason, your employer may refuse to pay you SSP. You can appeal against this decision if you think it is wrong.
    What you can do if your employer won't pay you SSP
    If you think you should be getting SSP but your employer won't pay it, they should give you a statement on form SSP1 explaining why. You should also use this form to claim Incapacity Benefit (IB), and make it clear that you want HMRC to consider your entitlement to SSP. You should send the form to your local Department for Work and Pensions (DWP) Office.
    If the DWP is unsure about your entitlement to SSP, it will forward a copy of your form to HMRC's national insurance contributions office. To be on the safe side, you should send a copy of your form to your local national insurance contributions office
  • Bluewednesday
    Bluewednesday Registered Posts: 1,624 Beyond epic contributor 🧙‍♂️
    Are you paying him whilst he is off sick?
  • sarahwilson
    sarahwilson Registered Posts: 567 Epic contributor 🐘
    We only pay staff for 5 days sick in a year at my work, unless its exceptional circumstances. Maybe a policy like this would out him if he's swinging the lead.
  • Bluewednesday
    Bluewednesday Registered Posts: 1,624 Beyond epic contributor 🧙‍♂️
    I don't get discretionary sick pay at all and I know some big companies are going the same way. That sorts out the skivers!
  • Cullen
    Cullen Registered Posts: 592 Epic contributor 🐘
    If he is taking so much sick leave that it causes you concern, do a back to work interview. Tell him you have a problem with his attendance. Tell him you will interview him after every sickness absence. Tell him it is jeapordising his relationship with his employers.
    Where I work we often get staff off with tummy trouble. It usually is on a Monday and may possibly be related to the amount of alcohol consumed over the weekend. It may also be indicative of drugs. Look for patterns, dont be afraid to challenge him about it. Ask a direct question.
    You have to be careful that you do not treat him any differently to anyone else but apprentices have a different type of contract, is he with JIB? Can you contact them and ask for advice regarding disciplinary issues.
    Read his contract carefully and also any rule book or handbook that you have for your staff. Point out which rules are relevant to the problem.
    Compare his absence level to other staff. Show him the results of any comparisons, (without compromising other staff's confidentiality)
    I do this all the time. I have found it fairest to sit them down and tell them bluntly which way is up. Remind them that future employers will always ask for a reference and you can give a bad one, as long as it is factual. Remind him that any further absences will be carefully investigated and may lead to further action which could result in a disciplinary hearing.
  • jackie
    jackie Registered Posts: 81 Regular contributor ⭐
    Thanks for that.
    Yes, we pay him even whilst he is off sick. We have to contact the relevant training body if we have an issue with an apprentice before we speak to him in order that all is documented.
    The most stupid thing about all this is he is generally a likeable lad with a GSOH, works well and is good company, but taking time off like this is causing problems in getting through work which has been booked in for 8 weeks or more:mad2:
    I just need to be sure that I can insist upon a sick note from a doctor for less than 7 days of continuous sickness and not accept a self cert:001_unsure:

  • Jan
    Jan Registered Posts: 654 Epic contributor 🐘
    I just need to be sure that I can insist upon a sick note from a doctor for less than 7 days of continuous sickness and not accept a self cert
    The quick answer to that is that you cannot insist on a sick note for less than seven days. I would suggest contacting the training provider - if he is also skipping college they may already be concerned.

    Has this just started to happen recently? It could be he has some other problems, say at home, that is causing him to be "ill". Any chance of a friendly quiet word with him, before you try the big stick treatment :001_unsure: I must admit my first thoughts were that he was trying it on, but it is a shame to jump to the wrong conclusion if he has always been OK.
  • Jan
    Jan Registered Posts: 654 Epic contributor 🐘
    Just to show how other employers deal with it:-

    My sons friend has just had a verbal warning because he has been off sick twice in the last few months - once in Sept & once in January. He only works 1 day a week at a well known supermarket and really did have a sicknes bug which he had picked up from his 8 year old sister! (the schools were down to about 50% attentance at the time). The poor lad is really upset - it never occurred to him that they would think it was drink related!
  • Gem7321
    Gem7321 Registered Posts: 1,438 Beyond epic contributor 🧙‍♂️
    If it's affecting his performance at work you can go down the capability procedure, being that he is not capable of fulfilling his contractual duties due to his absenteeism. However you must be careful not to say because he is ill! Basically you set up a review period and if his absence doesn't improve significantly you can take further action. I think generally the preferred outcome of this is that you both come to a mutual agreement to terminate the contract.
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