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Sickness & Absence Victimisation
If you think you have been victimised due to an illness, your employer has used your illness to remove you from your role or you have not been given the sick pay to which you are entitled, you could be able to make a claim for compensation.
Your sickness rights are usually laid out in your contract of employment. Company sick pay is at the discretion of your employer, while Statutory Sick Pay (SSP) is an absolute entitlement. You are entitled to £88.45 per week in SSP and have a limit of 28 weeks.
To qualify for SSP, you must:
- Be ill and unable to work for four or more consecutive days, including Sundays and holidays
- Have notified your employer of your sickness
- Prove you are unable to work by self-certificate or doctor’s certificate
There are certain employees who are not entitled to receive SSP. These include:
- Employees over the age of 65 when they are taken ill
- Employees who are taken on temporarily for a period of three months
- Pregnant employees who are ill during their paid maternity leave
This list is by no means exhaustive. To find out if you are entitled to SSP, contact our solicitors.
Depending on your company’s specific policy, you will either be entitled to company sick pay or SSP. The only way an employer can dismiss you based on your illness is if it is long-term and means that you cannot carry out your role to the required standard.
Before dismissing you through illness, your employer has to:
- Look into ways of supporting your return to the workplace
- Give you adequate recovery time
Having time off through sickness should have no impact on your rights to annual leave, unless you are absent from work for a very long time. Sickness cannot be used as a reason to deny other employment rights, including maternity leave.
Your employer has the right to:
- Ask for proof of sickness (for absence of less than a week self-certification is usually sufficient, longer illnesses may require a doctor’s note)
- Only pay you Statutory Sick Pay (£85.85 per week for up to 28 weeks)
- Dismiss you if you qualify as long-term sick and there is no reasonable way in which you could return to your workplace in any capacity. This is usually a last resort and one which employers will look to avoid
Our team of specialist employment solicitors can help you if you have been dismissed unfairly. We will investigate the procedure your employer has used and ensure that all your circumstances have been taken into consideration; for example, if you are disabled.
If you have been mistreated by your employer, we can act on your behalf to try and resolve the situation with your best interests in mind. This may include making an appeal or bringing a claim to the Employment Tribunal.