There has been much talk around the issue of sickness and annual leave and recent cases have confirmed that if a worker is sick during authorised annual leave then they should be allowed to change this to sick leave and take the annual leave at a later date.
This is regardless of whether the period of sickness begins before the annual leave starts, or during it.
So employees who fall sick before or during a scheduled period of annual leave and who would otherwise not be able to take their full statutory entitlement should be permitted to take the holiday at a later date.
At the moment many employees that are sick whilst on annual leave do not realise they can have their leave reallocated. This will change and there will be more and more requests for this as we move forward.
It may be very easy for this to be abused as how can you prove that an employee is off sick?
The short answer is: you can’t!
However, you can ensure your employees know that if they wish to do this, they should follow the usual procedure for reporting sickness absence, as outlined in the employee handbook.
You must then ensure they self-certify or provide a doctor’s certificate.
And let them know that they will need to attend a return to work interview when they are back at work.
By Debbie Cohen, Streetwise HR