Sick Leave Entitlement
There have been numerous cases of punishment or even unfair dismissal from work as a result of employees not showing up for work due to sickness.
As a result, numerous legislations are in place to strike a balance between employers and employees. Sick leave entitlement can be based on either contractual or statutory entitlement. Statutory as the name suggests is governed by law while contractual entitlements are an agreement between employee and employer.
While contractual entitlements may offer more sick leave than statutory requirements, they cannot be less generous.
Statutory Sick Pay is paid to employees only for days worked up to a maximum of twenty-eight weeks and sick pay begins on the consecutive fourth day of sickness (including non-working days like weekends or holiday).
Additionally, if an employee has been out sick in the past eight weeks, sick pay commences on the first day an employee is off work for sickness.
After seven consecutive days of illness a fit note, prepared by a doctor, is required to return to work. Fitness notes dictate the employee’s ability to return to work as well as any limitations on their activities (if any).
Some employers may allow a returning employee to self-certify but that is not required.